Avid Hotel in Hilliard expected to open in March after nearly one-year delay

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
The Avid Hotel at 3900 Lyman Drive in Hilliard is expected to begin operation in March, almost one year after its original planned opening because of construction delays related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The opening of an Avid Hotel at the northeast corner of Cemetery Road and Lyman Drive in Hilliard is expected in March after it was delayed almost a year by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“We are trying to get the open in the next 30 days. Hopefully, there are no more setbacks,” Sujay Mehta of the Hilliard Hotel Group, the Avid's developer, said Feb. 11.

InterContinental Hotels Group operates the Holiday Inn Express brand and franchises Avid Hotels, including the $9.5 million, 84-room, 4-story Avid at 4079 Lyman Drive.

The new Avid Hotel is on the site of a demolished McDonald’s that was moved across Lyman Drive but still fronts Cemetery Road near Britton Parkway.

The hotel originally was expected to open in April 2020.

“Because of COVID, there were so many delays,” Mehta said.

He said those delays involved contractors, subcontractors, the delivery of equipment and furniture and even COVID-19 contraction among staff members the hotel’s cleaning company.

In August, Mehta told ThisWeek the hotel was on track to open in October, but it encountered more delays.

However, Mehta said, it appears the opening is finally in its final stages, and he reported the same to Destination Hilliard's board members.

“(Avid) will complete construction in the next three weeks and open the first week of March but no later than the end of March, if there are some more hiccups,” said Tim Kauffman, executive director of Destination Hilliard, the local organization tasked with promoting Hilliard and its amenities. “They have experienced some financial challenges with their contractors, subcontractors and significant cost increases and delivery issues attributed to COVID-19.

"Destination Hilliard has eagerly awaited the opening of the Avid Hotel. ... It is the perfect addition to the accommodation options in Hilliard and offers visitors a new, unique brand, with thoughtful health and safety protocols.

The 84-room Avid Hotel at Cemetery Road and Lyman Drive, pictured here in May 2020, is on track to open in March after the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic delayed its opening by almost a year.

When it opens, the Avid will be the sixth hotel in Hilliard.

Hilliard also has a Hampton Inn & Suites at 3950 Lyman Drive, a Rodeway Inn at 3950 Parkway Lane, a Homewood Suites at 3841 Park Mill Run Drive, a Best Western at 3831 Park Mill Run Drive and a TownePlace Suites by Marriott at 4079 Lyman Drive.

Hilliard collects a 6% bed tax on stays at local hotels, and in 2019, the city collected $426,868, half of which, $213,434, was allocated to Destination Hilliard, Kauffman said.

Last year, the bed-tax revenue was $265,688, and Destination Hilliard received $132,844, Kauffman said.

But it isn't the additional bed-tax revenue from the Avid Hotel that Kauffman considers most important but rather the demographic it is expected to attract, he said.

"(Avid) has a younger demographic," he said, attracted by the hotel's smaller rooms that give greater attention to technology, such as hot spots, streaming services and quality Wi-Fi.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo