Chardon City Council gave an update last week on the city’s hotel feasibility study.
The city hired Wisconsin-based Core Distinction Group, which specializes in hotel feasibility studies, at $12,500 to explore the prospect of opening a hotel in Chardon.
There is no specific location being considered for a hotel as of yet, Community Development Administrator Steven Yaney said.
Vice Mayor Heather Means, councilman Kyle Martin and Mr. Yaney recently met with partner Jessica Junker from Core Distinction Group. The four traveled together around the city, including the business districts and residential neighborhoods, as well as the outside area surrounding the city.
Core Distinction Group then coordinated with the Chardon Area Chamber of Commerce to send out a survey to area businesses to assess needs for a hotel.
Information from the surveys will be used to determine what size hotel is recommended if it is determined to be feasible, Mr. Martin said. Council expects to have a draft of the study by the end of March, he said.
This includes reaching out to “demand generators,” local businesses in Chardon and the county which may use the hotel, Ms. Means said.
Councilman Daniel Meleski said UH Geauga Medical Center, for one, was “very interested” in adding a hotel.
Councilman Andrew Blackley said that out-of-towners visiting family in Chardon are potential hotel clients.
“We’ve run into that numerous times,” he said. For example, if in-laws come in and “the house is already full, so they have to go all the way up to Concord at some anonymous box instead of staying some nice place in Chardon.”
Ms. Means gave other examples of hotel guests who attend a wedding or funeral. “Where are the places in town if there’s a banquet or a wedding?” she asked.
She also said events at places such as SPIRE Institute in Geneva would generate hotel business in Chardon.
Mr. Yaney said a town of 5,000 residents generates a certain number of residential room nights; the study is to determine commercial room nights.
With the city’s proximity to the highway, a hotel would attract clients who could not book at Holiday Inn Express and Suites, about six miles away in Concord, if it is full, Mr. Yaney said.
Mr. Yaney told the council that he is willing to send the survey to any interested business.
Mayor Chris Grau said this is “exciting, good news.”
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