More Hotels Under Construction, More Renovations Underway

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — When the renovation project just launched at the Holiday Inn Boardman is completed, the only items remaining in each of the rooms will be the air conditioners and television sets, the general manager, Mike Moliterno, says.

The renovation, which Moliterno estimates at $2.5 million, is one of several projects involving either upgrades of existing hospitality properties or construction of new ones underway in the region.

“You have to keep putting money back into the property and it’s time for us to do that,” Moliterno remarks. “We just want to make sure we’re keeping things up to par and that we continue to be a leader.”

Scheduled to be completed this fall, the project involves a “complete and extensive guest room and guest corridor renovation,” he says. The work will remove 30 or so of the 158 rooms from use at any given time, he reports.

“The hallways and rooms are going to get a complete redo. We’re really excited about that,” he says.

The in-room changes include replacing the bathtubs with showers, “the way things are going in the industry,” Moliterno says, and swapping the full beds with queen beds. Plans also call for adding an outdoor patio to the restaurant.

The Holiday Inn Boardman is operated by Radius Hospitality Group, Canton. Radius will also manage the new Comfort Suites in Liberty Township and the Courtyard by Marriott in Canfield, both of which are slated to open this summer, Moliterno says.

Contractors are making “great progress” at the Liberty Comfort Suites, says Renee Ryan, who will be its general manager. Construction began in October on the site of the former Ramada Inn on Belmont Avenue.

“We were so concerned because we had a horrible winter,” Ryan says. The general contractor, B&B Construction Inc., Youngstown, is “doing a great job,” she adds.

The property will feature 86 suites, including three deluxe units and three executive suites that will be slightly larger than the standard suite, she reports. Plans call for later adding a conference center. The Mahoning Valley is “a good area for hotels and conferencing,” she says.

The Canfield Courtyard is part of CTW Development’s Westford Lifestyle Community.

Austintown Township, near the Interstate 80-Route 46 interchange, is the setting of much of the hotel construction and remodeling in recent years, including the Candlewood Suites, which opened last year, and the recent opening of Hotel California. And construction is expected to begin soon on another property there.

David Kovass, president of Meander Hospitality Group, Canfield, is working on putting together the financing and addressing comments on the plans submitted for an 87-room Home 2 Suites by Hilton, an extended-stay property.

Meander Hospitality operates another hotel under the Hilton flag at the interchange, a Hampton Inn, but that property lacks suites, Kovass says. Home 2 was the best fit for the market, he says.

“The Hilton-branded family of hotels is a very powerful player in the hospitality industry and also in the consumer’s mind,” he remarks.

“If you travel you know what you’re going to get,” Kovass adds. “You know what the offerings are. You’re not surprised.” Hilton has a “rigorous inspection process” and also offers strong brand recognition. Its reservation system is one strength of the corporation.

Kovass had hoped to see construction underway by this time. It begins once financing is in place, he says.

Pictured: Frank Babbaro is sales manager for the new Comfort Suites in Liberty Township. Renee Ryan is the general manager. The hotel is under construction on Belmont Avenue.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.