Business travelers and legislators who have regular dealings in Thurston County are set to witness the transformation of a new lodging scenario.
And tourists, 100 to 300 of whom stop by the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau each day, will have more choices of stay all around the city.
First, there’s the new Hilton Garden Inn, at 2101 Henderson Parkway Drive SE, not exactly in downtown proper but still just a hop across I-5 from the main capitol campus.
That’s a project from Hotel Concepts in Seattle, near Watershed Trail Park on a wooded parcel that’s been a source of development questions. Numerous lodging corporations have taken a look for the past couple of decades, and in 2003 a conference center plan was in the works for the site but that collapsed. Although hotel developer Han Kim didn’t return correspondence, the hotel will have 130 rooms and suites, as well as a restaurant, and likely be a main attractor during legislative sessions. According to the City’s planning department, the hotel concept is still in development and the property is awaiting final land use review.
Another Hotel Concepts project in the works is the former Capitol Plaza Hotel, at 900 Capitol Way S., which the company now has under contract. At press time, Han Kim was still exploring design and development ideas, and due diligence was completed in August. What’s being bandied about is turning the Capitol Plaza’s 55 rooms into an extended stay Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel.
Jessica Stadd, Marriott spokeswoman for the TownePlace Suites brand, said that according to the company’s list of pending projects the Capitol Way site is not currently on file, which could mean that it’s still in the approval process.
Another ongoing project for the company is in Lacey, close to Providence St. Peter Hospital on Martin Way, at the former Bailey’s Motor Inn, which closed in May. If developed, a hotel there would provide the medical facility with convenient guest lodgings. The company also owns the Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express at Third Avenue near St. Martin’s in Lacey.
There’s also been talk of a hotel on State Avenue, on one of the East Bay sites owned by the Port of Olympia. An option has already been signed with Seattle developer Lorig Associates. The Port of Olympia had not responded to Business Examiner queries at press time.
The most recent development on downtown Olympia’s lodging scene, though, was the sale of the Governor Hotel in August and its following closure September 9. Although the hotel just underwent renovations last year, it’s currently closed for more and will soon be rebranded.