July 23, 2011
Hotel opening ends 2-year construction project
New Holiday Inn Express near interstate has 74 rooms, indoor pool, conference center
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Front desk clerk Angela Kohman takes calls Thursday at the newly opened Holiday Inn Express on Locust Avenue in Cortland.
The Holiday Inn Express near the intersection of Clinton and Locust avenues in Cortland opened for business on Tuesday, the project’s developer announced Thursday.
Daniel Homik, president of Lady Jayne Hotel Corp, said the completion marks the end of a nearly two-year construction project near Interstate 81’s Exit 11. Even without advertising, Homik said the hotel has already had some visitors.
“It’s been a long construction project,” Homik said. “We’re glad to have it done.”
The 74-room hotel features an indoor pool, a breakfast bar, and business and fitness centers.
In November, Homik projected the $5 million hotel project would be ready by March or April, but a cold and snowy winter and wet spring complicated matters. He said work on the project began in August 2009.
“We certainly had some challenges,” Homik said.
Homik owns a Perkins Restaurant and Bakery at 2 Locust Ave., which opened March 2010. The building at this location was a Denny’s from 1988 to 2008, when Lady Jayne Hotel Corp. ended a 20-year franchise contract with Denny’s and converted the restaurant to Apple Annie’s American Diner.
The diner closed in August 2009 as Homik’s company began renovations to convert the restaurant into a Perkins.
Homik said he used several local suppliers during construction of the hotel, including Homer Iron Works, Skyline Electric Supply and Murdock’s Excavation.
Jim Dempsey, executive director of the Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he was excited about the hotel’s opening.
Dempsey said a lot of people travel by hotel brand and that many business and family travelers recognize the Holiday Inn Express name.
Dempsey said there are certain times of the year when the local hotels get filled up very quickly, such as during SUNY Cortland’s May commencement ceremonies, the Empire State Senior Games and the Brockway Truck Show.
Sometimes, Dempsey said he has to send people to Ithaca or Syracuse for hotel rooms.
“To have those additional 74 rooms is going to be great for us to keep business in Cortland,” Dempsey said.
Dempsey said Cortland has recently experienced an overall growth in the hotel industry. Other hotels, such as the Country Inns and Suites on Route 281 and the Hampton Inn on River Street, have opened in the county in the past 10 years or so, Dempsey said.
Homik said he expected to have a grand opening event for the hotel some time in September.
“It feels great,” Homik said.
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