By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 13, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Visitors coming to the Capital City will now have a new option when it comes to lodging.
Hampton Inn and Suites officially opened its doors Monday. It's located off of Gaines Street and Railroad Avenue in Collegetown.
"(We hope it offers) quality accommodations, in a comfortable setting," said Bo Schmitz, General Manager of the new location.
The hotel is one of several on the horizon helping to meet a growing lodging need in Tallahassee.
"The situation we have right now in Leon County, is demand exceeds supply," said Kerri Post, the Director of Leon County Tourism. She noted that during peak times, like the legislative session and football games, the hotel industry in town reaches capacity, sending travelers elsewhere.
But, that may start to change.
In addition to Hampton Inn and Suites, at least seven other hotels are in various development stages across the county including a Drury Inn and Suites near I-10, a Hotel Indigo in Collegetown and the Cascades Project happening downtown. In total, she said the upcoming projects will boost the room supply by nearly 20 percent.
The growth reflects a larger trend statewide. According to Visit Florida, the state is expected to experience a hotel boom over the next two years.
"Across the state we're seeing in the next year or two, 307 new hotels being built," said Visit Florida CEO Ken Lawson.
Locally, Post said the growth will benefit consumers by creating more options and competitions.
"(It helps by) providing more rooms for visitors, but also provides more competition. And, perhaps even lower the rates because we have been in the last three years. Our occupancy rate has increased, our room rate has increased," Post.
Schmitz, who also helped revitalize the Four Points by Sheraton in Tallahassee, attributes the local growth to a diversifying economy, with Tallahassee moving away from just being a seasonal destination.
"There's no down time in Tallahassee anymore. There's a lot of reasons why people come to Tallahassee. That's why some of these hotels, like ours, are being built," he said.