A new hotel will meet the growing needs of the city
September 25 – This week, foundation work for the new Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel will take place on the old JCPenney site near the old Logansport mall.
The completion date is slated for September 2022, said Mitesh Patel, co-owner of developer Sulai Hospitality Inc. of Huntington.
Building in the city was a well thought out move.
“Logansport had been on our radar for at least 15 years,” Patel said.
Sulai Hospitality has hotels in nearby towns like Wabash, Huntington, and Bluffton, and they’ve noticed the Holiday Inn Express doing well here.
A few things finally brought them here.
The company had seen plans to renovate the Logansport Mall in Junction at the Logansport Mall.
“I loved the renderings I saw for the mall’s new look,” Patel said.
There was also the marketing study that the Logansport-Cass County Planning Department received on January 8, 2020.
Research has shown a need at Logansport for “a hotel of about 90 rooms, upper midrange, limited service” with a small amount of meeting space, laundry facilities, fitness center and other amenities. .
Sulai is building a four-story, 91-suite hotel for those making extended stays in the area.
The company was originally going to build a Hampton Inn, but they decided to go with the extended stay suites after COVID-19.
The company found that business travelers were looking for accommodations for a week or a month, and the supply of extended-stay hotels in the area was low, Patel said.
The closest is in Fort Wayne.
Planning Department executive director Arin Shaver said the 2020 Marketing Study was done because the county and city heard about the lack of chambers for businesses.
According to the study, “the shopping center redevelopment site and (the) plot adjacent to Ivy Tech Community College are the most optimal for hotel development.”
But a second study would be needed to see if the city could support another hotel on the east end now, Shaver said.
A builder would need it to finance itself.
Mayor Chris Martin said his understanding of the hotel situation changed when he took office.
“The hotels are full most of the time,” he said.
The new hotel will allow Logansport to attract good restaurants and retail stores. Another possible hotel is still under consideration for development near Ivy Tech.
The need for rooms
Many manufacturers and financial institutions in the county have executives and auditors who come for extended stays, said Bill Cuppy, president of the Cass / Logansport Economic Development Organization and the Logansport-Cass County Chamber of Commerce.
And it’s not just the number of hotel rooms, but also the quality of hotel rooms that businesses demand.
“We often hear that the ones they want to stay are at capacity,” Cuppy said. “Right now they have to send them out of town, and when that happens you lose the economic impact that should be happening here.”
In other words, they don’t spend money in Logansport.
Cuppy said studies show the city could support another hotel, but that’s not an urgent need with the current one under construction.
But if Ivy Tech continues to grow, the one planned by the Hoosier Heartland Highway would be viable. This would primarily capture passers-by or people looking for a place to stay for Purdue University athletics as the Lafayette area is full.
These people will not be spending money in the city either, he said.
Cuppy would like to see a hotel in the city center, which gains new things to do.
This was also taken into account in the 2020 study.
“People like to be where things are going,” he said. They don’t want to have to drive downtown if they can walk there. “
Construction requires places for workers
It’s not just businesses that need rooms.
There is the regular bowling tournament and lots of construction workers from outside the area.
Over the past two years, Logansport has seen major work on bridges, the long Melbourne Avenue project and downtown for the Main Street Revitalization Program (MSRP) for six historic buildings.
If construction workers have to travel beyond a certain mileage, they usually receive an allowance to stay near the job site, Cuppy said.
Mindy Desai, general manager of Quality Inn at 3550 E. Market St., said that from mid-May to about the first week of October, the hotel is full.
These are “people who are in town to work,” Desai said. “This year has been busier than usual.”
In recent months they have had to turn people away, but it is also because of the lack of staff and rooms cleaned and ready for guests.
They are at low capacity during the winter months.
A recent construction-related project, the Demolition of the Logansport Power Plant, used a different means to secure a place to stay for workers, said Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Greg Toth.
The contractor rented a house and furniture for six months for his employees due to room availability and the cost of hotel rooms.
“It was cheaper for them to rent a house,” Toth said.
“What I hear, you never know when you will have availability or not,” he said. Considering the number of projects planned for the future of the city, “we are going to have this kind of need for months”.
Non-construction companies that regularly need places to stay for visitors include Tyson Foods – the county’s largest employer – who indicated there was a need for more hotel rooms in the city, Cuppy said.
Tyson declined to give an answer on their use of the hotels for the story.
Myers Spring president Todd Miller said his business welcomed visitors at least once a month and regularly before COVID-19.
“I always book a week, a month in advance,” he said. “I always book in advance because I’m afraid there will be no rooms.”
The cost of hotel rooms is proof that another hotel is needed. Logansport’s rates are not only higher than in neighboring communities, but they are also higher than in the towns it has visited.
“It will provide much needed competition,” he said.
Mike Englert, the current managing director of Waelz Sustainable Products (WSP) and former plant manager at A. Raymond Tinnerman, said these two companies often have visitors.
Even while it was still under construction, WSP brought in two to five people from Alabama and Mexico every week.
With WSP company headquartered in Mexico, Englert said, “When people come in, they’re going to stay awhile. “
A. Raymond Tinnerman had people who came from as far away as France, where this company is headquartered.
Manufacturers see “customers, business people, all kinds of visitors,” he said.
Englert couldn’t speak for the entrepreneurs, but an extended stay hotel would help on a business level, he said.
Logansport Memorial Hospital (LMH) also regularly uses hotels, said Vicki Byrd, vice president of planning and development.
The hospital contracts out emergency physicians, nurse practitioners and medical assistants who must stay overnight to be available for two to three days.
LMH also contracts with anesthesiologists in need of housing, and the hospital hires temporary nurses and medical staff through agencies.
These temporary workers – generally outside the stay – need places to stay from a week to six months.
Then there is the recruitment of doctors to hire for the hospital.
“My preference is that they stay in the community so they can see what we have to offer,” she said. But often they stay in Indianapolis or Kokomo.
She doesn’t know how many families of patients depend on hotel rooms to stay overnight.
Alternatives to hotels
Airbnb rooms have multiplied in Logansport in recent years.
Chris Dodson has been renting two apartments on a short-term basis this way for about three years and has added three more this year.
“Nightly, weekly, monthly – as people want it,” Dodson said.
Some of them are visiting nurses, he said. Others are visitors for vacations, funerals, family reunions or class reunions, and he’s already booked in November.
“It’s cheaper to stay at my house than at any hotel,” Dodson said.
And he rents to tourists.
“France Park is probably the biggest draw,” he said.
The owners of Intiquity, A Country Inn, at 1075 North Indiana 25, also use Airbnb as well as traditional reservations for their guesthouse.
“Unfortunately, I often turn people down,” said co-owner Leslie Naftzger. “I wish I had a place that I could recommend when I’m full.”
They have a lot of long term stays, including some emergency room doctors and business visitors.
The hostel also hosts family reunions that rent the entire site and has seen a lot of visitors for Marine Cpl. Funeral of Humberto Sanchez.
Contact James D. Wolf Jr. at [email protected] or 574-732-5117