To Market, To Market Exploring & Expanding into New Areas
Those demand generators making a market attractive include established corporate headquarters or strong leisure demands that have been proven for the market, according to Schaedle. “In addition, stable market leadership (good local government), stable job growth and things of that nature are always attractive when determining a project’s feasibility,” he added.
In the case of Nashville, the company had working knowledge of the area. “We are headquartered nearby in Franklin, and [know]the impacts of the economic growth within the area, so we felt expansion in our backyard market was appropriate,” he said. “As for Alpharetta, GA, we heavily researched the local economy and other factors necessary for successful hotels and felt a new full-service property for the market was appropriate.”
Despite all of the research and efforts put into finding new markets, it doesn’t always go as expected. “Our team had a great learning experience in downtown Kansas City, MO, which quickly proved to be a difficult-to-develop market,” said Schaedle. “Around 2014-2015, Chartwell set out to deliver the downtown area’s first ground-up hotel since 1985. It took more than a year and a half to gain final city approvals, and our team had to delicately navigate local politics and the city council process to achieve development rights.”
He continued, “During this time, the market had the undertone of requiring financial incentives from the city to build a hotel. We determined our hotel did not need incentives and developed the project without assistance. This was a large feat for the market, and it generated much discussion from the local development community. Since we proved the feasibility of a success without incentives, several other developers in the area have followed our lead, which we think is pretty neat. We feel like Chartwell helped generate good growth for Kansas City by leading the charge on hotel development without local government incentives.”
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