January 31, 2013 10:20:34 AM
Sarah Fowler - firstname.lastname@example.org
Two new Columbus hotels are well on their way to an eagerly anticipated completion.
Hyatt Place and Courtyard by Marriott will be opening in the coming months, which will add 208 hotel rooms to the city.
Sonny Sethi, proprietor of the Hyatt Place said the hotel is expected to open in May or June.
With last month's announcement that the Columbus Soccer Complex has secured major soccer tournaments for November and May of 2014, the additional rooms are welcomed. Soccer organizers say as many as 1,000 hotel rooms will be needed to accommodate the 2014 tournament.
Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Nancy Carpenter said there are currently 900 hotels rooms in the city.
Originally planned as a Hampton Inn, Sethi's project broke ground in 2008. Building was halted in 2009 while the company secured funding after the Hampton Inn pulled out. Construction began again in 2012. The Hyatt Place will boast 98 rooms, a full service restaurant and bar and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
Sethi is eager for hotel guests to not only experience his hotel, but Columbus as well.
"Columbus is a great town," he said. "It's just a great place to be. I have literally been traveling to Columbus on a weekly basis since 2008. It's a great place to have a hotel and to work with other hoteliers in the area to bring people in and let them experience a great town."
Located off of Hwy. 45 behind the almost completed Longhorn Steakhouse, the hotel is in walking distance to both restaurants and shopping.
"It's a new prototype and more upscale," Carpenter said. "It's a great location. I think it's going to do great."
Also opening in 2013 is the Courtyard by Marriott. With 110 rooms, the hotel is expected to open in November. Mark Castleberry with Columbus Properties is developing the Marriott project and despite weather delays, he is optimistic the hotel will open this year. This is Castleberry's third hotel in the area, including the Fairfield Marriott adjacent to the Courtyard Marriott. The Fairfield has 87 rooms.
It is unclear whether the Courtyard Marriott hotel will be open before the November soccer tournament.
Even with the addition of the two new hotels, Carpenter admitted Columbus will likely have to rely on hotels in neighboring cities to support the crowds expected for the soccer tournaments.
"Starkville has approximately 700 rooms and West Point has 250," she said. "We know for the May 2014 tournament it's going to take the two other cities working with us."
The Coaches Cup Tournament will be held Nov. 2-3. The Presidents Cup will be held May 24-25, 2014.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @FowlerSarah