Guest House Inn and Suites is building a three-story, 59-room motel barely a hundred yards from the Interstate-5 traffic corridor in Tumwater, making it the first commercial development of its type to break ground at the Port of Olympia’s New Market Industrial Campus.

Though near I-5 (at the Airdustrial Exit), dense woods mute both the sound of traffic and the view from the motel. Guests will undoubtedly appreciate the seclusion, but now it’s posing signage challenges.

Some traffic to and from the motel will be routed away from the Airdustrial interchange on a parallel private drive, necessitating more “To I-5” markers for guests unfamiliar with local roads. In addition, the hotel access does not permit autos in the westbound lane of Airdustrial to enter by making a left turn across traffic, an inconvenience that additional signage will have to address.

The site of the new motel was never previously developed, so the new access road may take some time—even for locals—to learn to navigate.

Guest House Suites has franchised the entire West Coast to Western Steel, developers of the New Market site. Based in Tukwila, Western Steel also is building a Guest House Suites in Kelso and an unrelated hotel in SeaTac.

Diane Milliman, general manager at the new motel, says Guest House Suites are also planned for DuPont and Tacoma.

Construction on the New Market project is expected to be complete in March, says Western Steel Supervisor Jerry Anders. The motel will have a pool, hot tub and exercise and meeting facilities, as well as fax machines in every room.

The Port of Olympia, which has significant acreage available for development at the New Market Industrial Campus, expects Metal Building Components Inc. of Houston to soon occupy 17 acres nearby with its light manufacturing operation.

Reports of a new service station and restaurant going up at the Airdustrial interchange were confirmed by Milliman, as well as City of Tumwater officials.

By Mark Woytowich, Business Examiner staff