A Dauphin County hospitality company started construction this week on its first hotel, and it has plans for at least two more projects.
Restin Hospitality LLC, based in the Hershey area, kicked off construction Tuesday of a Comfort Inn & Suites Harrisburg Airport hotel. The building on West Harrisburg Pike in Lower Swatara Township is close to Harrisburg International Airport.
The four-story, 47,000-square-foot hotel, which will be managed by Prestige Hospitality Group of Albany, N.Y., will have 87 rooms and is slated to open in spring 2018. Choice Hotels International owns the Comfort Inn & Suites brand.
It’s the latest hotel project to emerge near the airport — developments that could entice more commercial growth in the Middletown area — and one of several active hospitality sites across Central Pennsylvania as the lodging industry nationwide bounces back from the last economic downturn.
Hotel growth should continue, said Jim Nardo Sr., president and CEO of Restin. Nardo is eyeing new sites for hotels off Route 15 in the Mechanicsburg area and near Philadelphia.
Nardo, whose family runs Towne Retail, a private real estate development company in Dauphin County, said he’s aware of the recent hotel growth but noted that he doesn’t intend to oversaturate the market.
Indeed, few new hotels have hit the market since before the recession. Today, however, major hotel brands are trying to appeal to millennials, he said, who are looking for moderately priced hotels.
And with millennials last year overtaking the baby boomers as the largest living generation, the pace of development for new hotel products may accelerate.
“They are all trying to step it up,” Nardo said.
The new Comfort Inn & Suites will cater to airport travelers and people using the Amtrak station. It also will serve the growing Penn State Harrisburg campus in Middletown, which is the largest Penn State branch, as well as the 193rd Special Operations Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard at the airport and other people visiting midstate attractions.
The hotel, which is expected to employ 30 people, will have meeting space and an indoor saltwater pool, a fitness room and business center, plus airport shuttle service. Custom park-and-fly packages also will be offered.
Landisville-based Professional Design & Construction Inc. is the designer and contractor on the project. Cost of construction was not disclosed.