Report details possible effect of Fort Lee Hotel

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - How will a proposed one thousand room hotel at Fort Lee impact other area lodgings? An answer to that question is in a newly released report.

Local hotel owners can expect to see a tremendous jump in business, in the short term, but that jump will drop according to the study.

The report is just a projection. There are pros and cons outlined about how the proposed $120 million lodging facility at Fort Lee could impact the local hospitality industry - specifically, hotels.

"Between now and when the lodging facility comes online you're going to see a major ramp up of off post T.D.Y, or Temporary Duty Types staying at our hotels, " said Dennis Morris, executive director of the Crater Planning District Commission.

When and if the facility comes online the report forecasts a dip in military business for area hotels owners. However, occupancy rates would still be slightly higher than they are currently.

"The lodging facility will only handle roughly 75 -80 percent of the capacity needs for Fort Lee," said Morris.

Muhammad Khan owns Broadway Inn Motel in Petersburg. He and other business owners fear the lodging facility would negatively impact their pockets.

"In the process we might lose some business because the military personnel would keep on staying at the facility," said Khan.

Khan didn't want to comment on the report just yet - stating he needs to take a closer look at the numbers. At this point, Khan says he's trying to focus on the brighter side of the issue.

"I'm optimistic that during the construction the contractors and workers - we could get business from them," said Khan.

The independent study was conducted by RKG Associates at the request of the Crater Planning District Commission.

"You'll have people saying, yeah those are just projections. How do we know those numbers are real? I got to tell you no one knows for certain," said Morris.

The report has been submitted to a congressional subcommittee that's considering whether to approve the project.

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