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Another hotel near Harrisburg International Airport will open next year

By Dan Miller danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 7/11/17

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Tuesday, July 18, for a new 87-room Comfort Inn & Suites hotel to be located on Route 230 at the airport connector in Lower Swatara Township.

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Another hotel near Harrisburg International Airport will open next year

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A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Tuesday, July 18, for a new 87-room Comfort Inn & Suites hotel to be located on Route 230 at the airport connector in Lower Swatara Township.

Branded as the Comfort Inn & Suites Harrisburg Airport, the hotel is to open in spring 2018 — several months ahead of the 123-room Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel now under construction on HIA, which is targeted to open in August 2018.

Ground was broken for the Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel on June 15.

The Comfort Inn & Suites Harrisburg Airport hotel is also a major step forward in continued development of the Linden Centre shopping center complex, formerly known as Jamesway Plaza.

Comparisons between the two hotels are inevitable, since they are both starting at about the same time and both seek to capitalize on being close to — or on — the airport.

And there’s enough business for both new hotels to succeed, said Janice Murray, director of operations for Restin Hospitality, the owner and developer of the new Comfort Suites.

The area surrounding the airport is going from zero hotel rooms to 210 in a little over a year’s time.

Right now, the closest hotel for anyone coming to HIA or to Penn State Harrisburg is several miles away, whether in the Eisenhower Boulevard area in Swatara Township or in the Hershey area.

“Both hotels will add value to the area. It’s a long time coming,” Murray said.

The Comfort Suites will be four stories and 47,050 square feet. Of the 87 rooms, 31 will be king suites.

The hotel will have a fitness room, indoor pool, daily complimentary breakfast, complimentary wi-fi, guest laundry, meeting room space, and a small business center where people can use computers and get online for free, and print out their boarding pass.

The hotel will also have a shuttle back and forth to the airport.

Obviously, the Comfort Suites can’t match the convenience of actually being on HIA, which only the Fairfield Inn & Suites will offer.

But staying in the Comfort Inn & Suites will put you smack dab in the middle of convenience stores and other shopping amenities along the bustling Route 230 corridor, Murray said.

While “complimentary” to each other, the two new hotels serving the HIA market will also offer “two different price points,” Murray said. “Ours might be a little less because theirs (Fairfield Inn & Suites) is full service,” she added. The Comfort Inn & Suites will also offer free parking for visitors.

Linden Centre plans to be adding to the amenities along Route 230 to which Murray referred.

Plans for Linden Centre posted on the website of Town Retail LLC, the development company of Linden Centre owner James Nardo, show seven more buildings to be constructed on the site — besides the CVS and Sharp Shopper complex that are already there. This includes another large store next to Sharp Shopper in the 30,000-square-foot range. Sharp Shopper is 37,000 square feet, according to the website.

No timetable regarding the other buildings to be located on Linden Centre was available from Marisa Benjamin, who handles marketing and leasing for Towne Retail.

“We are currently in discussions with a number of national tenants and once those deals are finalized, we will then begin to apply for the necessary permits to begin construction on those buildings,” Benjamin said in a July 10 email to the Press & Journal. “We have had positive interest in the project and I anticipate once the hotel is under construction with a projected opening date, that we will have continued interest in our project.”

What is left of the old Jamesway Plaza — the building in front of Sharp Shopper that still houses a barber and a hair salon — is being demolished. That will be completed before the hotel construction is finished, Benjamin said.

Besides HIA and Penn State, other factors expected to drive business to the new Comfort Suites includes the Air National Guard’s 193rd Special Operations Wing based on HIA, the new Amtrak train station coming to Middletown, and the tourist attractions in Hershey.

Hotels in the Hershey area are booked a year in advance for the big annual auto shows, Murray said. The new hotel could also draw guests who come to the big auto shows throughout the year held at the Carlisle Fairgrounds.

The Comfort Inn & Suites Harrisburg Airport is the first hotel development project of Restin Hospitality, which is based in central Pennsylvania. Restin plans to develop more hotels in this region, but no specific details are available, Murray said.

General contractor of the hotel will be Professional Design and Construction of Landisville. The hotel will be managed by Prestige Hospitality of Albany, New York.

The new hotel will bring about 30 new jobs to the area, Murray said.

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