Work on a new Hampton Inn & Suites finally is underway in Olympia, more than eight years after the project was first proposed.
The lot at 4301 Martin Way East is being cleared and the building is expected to begin rising from the ground in May. The hotel is set to open in May or June of 2016, said Scott Ableman, vice president and chief financial officer of AmeriTel Inns of Boise, Idaho, a hotel management company.
“We’re finally there and we’re excited to be there,” said Ableman, chuckling about how long it has taken.
The hotel, a Hilton brand, will be a four-story building with 123 rooms. It also will have an indoor pool, meeting rooms, a breakfast area, an exercise room and a small store, he said. The hotel will have in the range of 28 to 32 employees, Ableman added.
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AmeriTel is familiar with Olympia, which Ableman called an “excellent market,” because they used to run the AmeriTel Inn on Martin Way. That property later became a Ramada.
Ableman said they changed the business model, converting AmeriTel into a hotel management company and got out of the independent, regional hotel chain business.
The Hampton Inn was first pitched to Olympia community development officials in August 2006, but then the project got slowed by the recession and several hotel redesigns.
One of those redesigns happened because the site was once home to large maple tree that the hotel had to take into account.
That tree was on its way to achieving landmark status, said Shelly Bentley, manager of the city’s urban forestry program, but then the snow and ice storm of January 2012 damaged it, making it a complete loss.
So AmeriTel set about redesigning the hotel again, Ableman said.
Several trees, including Douglas fir, have been removed, but some of those fir closest to Martin Way needed to be removed because they had laminated root rot and were unstable, Bentley said.
Still, 25 trees have been retained on the site and another 86 trees will be planted, she said.
This is the first newly constructed hotel in Olympia in some time, although several in town are undergoing renovations.
A La Quinta hotel is under construction on Capitol Boulevard in Tumwater.