Hornell Hampton Inn by Hilton currently under construction
For years, Hornell officials have tried to locate one of the missing pieces of the city’s economic development puzzle – a business-class hotel, an upscale accommodation option for the growing number of business travelers. in Maple City.
That search is over, as the ceremonial shovels were driven into the ground Thursday morning to mark the construction of a Hampton Inn by Hilton just north of Hornell Plaza.
The project was in the works for about six years, dating back to Shawn Hogan’s tenure as mayor. Hogan, who continued to work on the project after serving as a consultant with IDA Hornell, called the official opening a “day to remember” for the city.
âAlstom, Alfred University and Alfred State College, they all asked us when are we going to get a business class hotel? Well that day is today, âHogan said.
Indus Hospitality Group is developing the hotel, which will be located next to the busy Hornell Plaza, anchored by Walmart and Wegmans. The company knows Hornell, having previously developed a Dunkin Donuts in the plaza and a Taco Bell downtown. Its presence in the city dates back to the construction of a Ponderosa Restaurant in the late 1980s. Indus has also built hotels near Wellsville and Bath, part of a portfolio that includes over 50 properties across the region. .
Indus CEO Jett Mehta said the company sees Hornell as the perfect fit for a business-class hotel despite the challenges the industry faces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
âWith all the growth and activity at Hornell along with housing and new jobs, we’re excited to be a part of it,â Mehta said. âThe COVID pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry. The industry is recovering and luckily it is recovering quickly, as is our economy. There are still a lot of challenges, but we are working on them.
Open the door to the ânext chapterâ in Hornell’s development
Hornell Mayor John Buckley said the addition of a business class hotel “will open the door to this next chapter in Hornell’s economic development.” Hornell currently only has one hotel within the city limits. The Hampton Inn is expected to immediately meet a need when it opens its doors to tenants, a need that will impact visitors to Hornell while also serving travelers from neighboring communities like Alfred, which hosts heavy traffic to Alfred University. and Alfred State College.
âWe are growing rapidly. Alstom is developing at breakneck speed and there is a lot going on here, âBuckley said. âThe DRI is going to be put online. There is going to be more pressure to have a hotel like this. We only have one hotel in town and the Best Western is always full.
âWe have people who come for the graduation ceremony at Alfred’s, they fly to Alstom. We have an influx of people who cannot necessarily stay overnight here with our current accommodations. This will help with that.
Mike Nisbet was appointed Executive Director of IDA earlier this year after spending decades in the private sector. Nisbet noted that Hornell’s business community has often expressed a preference for a business class hotel in the city. The need has only increased in recent years, because Alstom stepped up operations to service the Amtrak contract. The railway manufacturer is currently building another factory on Shawmut Drive to manage a contract with Metra.
âComing from a private company, I know what this hotel means,â Nisbet said. âInstead of visitors to our businesses and employees of our businesses having to travel 50 to 60 miles to have a premium hotel, they now have it in the town of Hornell. I think it’s amazing for this region.
What to know about the new hotel
The hotel is expected to be completed in about a year, depending on the impact of winter weather conditions on construction, with the first guests likely booking stays next fall or early winter.
Immediate entry to the hotel off State Route 36 will only be available to vehicles traveling south, at least for the foreseeable future. Travelers coming from Hornell town center will need to enter the plaza to reach the hotel. Buckley said a re-imagining of the busy travel corridor is being planned involving the City, DOT, Town of Hornellsville and Village of North Hornell.
The entrance to the Hornell Plaza has been a hot spot for motor vehicle accidents in the past, but a traffic study associated with the hotel’s development determined that it would not have a major impact on vehicle safety.
âThere is a much larger long-term plan for this corridor,â Buckley said. “A traffic study was carried out and it concluded that there would be no significant impact on the esplanade which would have a negative impact on traffic on 36.”
The hotel at 1050 State Route 36 will consist of nearly 80 rooms over four floors. The hotel will include a lounge bar, outdoor seating, a fitness center and a swimming pool.
The hotel is expected to create around 25 to 30 jobs. IDA approved a 20 year PILOT agreement for the project, which includes sales tax exemptions for building materials, furniture, fixtures and equipment. The Comfort Inn also received a 20 year PILOT when it moved to Hornell.