What’s with all the hotels being built?
It could be a coincidence, or maybe a trend, or just perfect timing.
The past few weeks, I’ve written about at least four new hotels opening or about to open in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
It’s an interesting moment in the hospitality industry as there appears to be a strong appetite for people looking to stay in the region and not just overnight, but for extended periods of time.
These hotels are not just your typical facilities, either. Many are looking to capture the growing meeting- and event-space market and cater to business travelers looking for upscale accommodations.
They often have bars, full-service restaurants and generous meeting spaces. Some even have large fitness centers and outdoor grilling areas.
By providing many of the comforts of home, everything from fully equipped kitchens to pet-friendly features, these hotels are looking to attract people seeking extended stays.
The market also appears strong for out-of-state guests.
In October, the Bethlehem mayor recommended the $35 million Hotel Bethlehem expansion to be the next project to earn City Revitalization and Improvement Zone designation – which provides tax incentives for businesses.
The expansion would bring 100 new jobs to the hotel and includes increasing the number of hotel rooms from 128 to 201 and expanding conference room space from 14,000 square feet to 38,000 square feet.
Recently, a Homewood Suites opened near Stabler Corporate Center in Upper Saucon Township, and another hotel nearby, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, will open in December.
By January, a new Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel will open in Upper Macungie Township along Route 100, joining a Candlewood Suites in Bethlehem that will open later in the spring.
And last year, Serfass Construction completed a 300-room conversion of the Sands Hotel in Bethlehem, a demolition and renovation project that included adding many high-end finishes.
Recent news reports show there are more hotels on the way in Lower Nazareth Township.
It’s clear there’s a market for hotels with an eye on luxury and creature comforts, which mirrors, in some respects, the growth of the upscale apartment market in cities and towns across the region.