Dublin Villager

Demand driving plans for new hotels in city

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Visitors will soon have a few new places to lay their heads in Dublin.

With one hotel set to break ground next month and two more planned, the number of hotel rooms in Dublin is set to see an increase.

Experts say the new rooms are needed.

"Demand determines when new hotels are built," said Scott Dring, Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.

"The major metric is occupancy rate, or the percentage of Dublin rooms occupied during any one time," Dring said.

"Typically when occupancy rates get to 68 to 70 percent full is when hotel developers come in."

Dublin's occupancy rate was 65 percent last year and is projected to be 68 percent this year.

"Demand has gone up and at that point people look for new hotels," Dring said.

"It's been a while since we've had a new hotel," he said.

"The previous new hotel before Residence Inn was Holiday Inn Express. That was three years ago."

According to Eric Belfrage, vice president of Investment Properties Hotel and leisure for CBRE, much of the demand for hotel rooms in Dublin comes from local businesses.

"Dublin is of course a very heavy corporate market and 70 to 75 percent of demand is generated by corporate and office space," Belfrage said, noting expansion of some Dublin businesses is expected to increase demand for hotel rooms further.

Events in Dublin such as the Memorial Tournament, Dublin Irish Festival and Football University also drive demand.

"Dublin is also a very good leisure driver with a lot of the events we have here," Belfrage said.

Dublin's next new hotel will be the Residence Inn by Marriott, which is expected to break ground on Franz Road next month and offer 100 suites by fall 2014.

The new hotel, however, is located at the former site of America's Best Value Inn and Suites and will be replacing Dublin's inventory of rooms that was depleted by 100 when the hotel was demolished.

The other two new hotels expected in Dublin are on Riverside Drive in the Bridge Street Corridor and on Dublin's west side by the Ohio University medical education campus expected to open July 2014.

Dring said hotels usually group together in accessible areas near amenities.

The Bridge Street District hotel, proposed in a development by Crawford Hoying in October will appeal to office and retail space proposed in the large multi-use development.

It could also offer convention space, which is sorely needed, Dring said.

"Right now the market is saturated with conventions," Dring said.

"The space is not there now. The largest convention we can get is 200 to 250 people just because of the size to accommodate that group," he said.

"We can't go after a huge group like downtown Columbus," he said.

"The demand is not just in Dublin, but in northwest Columbus and it looks like Veterans Memorial will open up more demand for the market."

Dublin's other future hotel will serve the needs of OU's osteopathic medicine campus.

"It'll be a smaller hotel, under 100 rooms," Dring said.

"It will really cater to OU's needs with that campus there. It will be similar to the Blackwell Hotel on the (Ohio State University) campus."

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