Resorting to new hospitality in Peoria

Study: Upscale, full service hotel will fill a niche in Peoria

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There is a place for the hospitality industry in Peoria, and the city now has the evidence to prove it.

Bringing an upscale, full service hotel within its boundaries will fill a niche that does not exist, according to a recent study commissioned by the city.

Hospitality consultant Revpar International conducted the study to determine the most optimal and feasible location to house a full-service hotel. Five locations throughout the city were identified to evaluate marketability, with a location in the P83 Entertainment District as the top prospect for a future hotel.

There is strong market support for a new, upscale full-service branded hotel in that area, the study found.

Mayor Cathy Carlat said the findings indicate that Peoria not only needs a full-service hotel, but also could successfully support an upscale product.

“Peoria is a scenic desert oasis that is brimming with opportunity,” she said. “I’m thrilled to know that industry experts see the exceptional quality of life that Peoria residents know and love; and translate that value to the potential for a hotel that maximizes its offerings and services for an upscale experience.”

Findings are based on a number of factors ranging from economic and demographic data and the status of the hotel market to interviews with representatives of existing hotels and other research.

Room supply is estimated to increase by 5.2% compounded annually or about 209,500 rooms thorugh 2024, according to the study. Room night demand is estimated to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% or about 128,200 room nights. Based on these trends, competitive set occupancies are anticipated to fluctuate over that period.

As part of the study, a 160-unit hotel and mixed use site was proposed with 300,000 square feet of office space on the 17-acre parcel currently being used as a parking lot adjacent to the west side of the Peoria Sports Complex.

The study mentioned some risks including new supply being developed in the area, long distance from Sky Harbor International Airport, and the site viewed as an “in-between” location between Interstate 17 and Glendale’s Westgate.

However, the site was touted for its ease of access, central location in the greater Northwest Valley and ability to serve customers’ needs, as well as its proximity to amenities such as Modern Round, Cheesecake Factory and Arrowhead Towne Center.

Spring training as well as youth and adult tournaments and international teams already serve as an attraction to the area.

More than 180,000 people attended the Peoria Sports Complex this year, where the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres call home during spring training.

The study said the site is in a stable market characterized by a steady population and residential growth, significant leisure demand and modest levels of corporate demand.

Revpar International Senior Vice President Paul Landry said all this and more will allow the area to remain stable and growing into the foreseeable future.

He said the location within a mixed-use development, as well as next door to the sports complex was viewed favorably since it generates a measure of base room night demand for the proposed hotel.

The access to a highly educated workforce in Peoria, location within a growing and developing market, and no new hotel development since 2002 was viewed positively, Mr. Landry said.

“An upper upscale, full service hotel with meeting space located at P83 will fill a market niche that does not currently exist in Peoria, fulfilling the needs of both leisure and corporate markets,” he said.

The four other sites researched in the study in order of preference are: Happy Valley Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway; Vistancia; Lake Pleasant at Scorpion Bay; and Lake Pleasant at Pleasant Harbor.

To determine the most viable site for a new hotel, the study ranked the five sites based on 12 matrices and found the P83 site far out shot the four other potential sites with a score of 123. Happy Valley Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway scored 81.5. Vistancia scored 74.5; Lake Pleasant at Scorpion Bay scored 58.5; and Lake Pleasant at Pleasant Harbor scored 52.5.

Mr. Landry said continued growth in the northern part of the city could bode well for future hotel sites near Lake Pleasant.

“Certainly, we think the Lake Pleasant sites will offer good potential hotel/resort leisure destination locations in the future, especially once the amenity base and demand generators become more robust out there,” he said.

Peoria’s growth may have slowed down, but the city remains one of the fastest growing in the state, according to fresh data from the United States Census Bureau.

Peoria’s population increased by 4,067 people in 2018, a 2.4% increase from 2017 and a 11.2% jump from  2010, giving it the 18th highest year-over-year increase in Arizona.

Most of this growth has occurred in the northern part of the city.

Scot Andrews, president and CEO of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce, said that since the development of the Loop 303 corridor and associated expansion with companies like Boeing and the extensive Westgate entertainment district in Glendale, the time has now come for leveraging amenities within the city of Peoria P83 space.

“With the proximity to the Arrowhead mall, the P83 gem of the sports complex, great food and entertainment close by, lacking is high quality corporate event-based meeting space. A well adorned top-brand full service hotel with its focus on corporate conventions, events and attractive entertainment marketing can be an oasis in the P83 district.”

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697, phaldiman@newszap.com, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.

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