enough of a draw to support adding a new hotel? City leaders aren't sure, but they're spending $7,000 to complete a feasibility study of the market here that will guide future decisions.
The hotel study, which will be paid for using money from the city's economic development fund, will examine whether Lakewood can capitalize on some of the development that is occurring in downtown Cleveland and its own revitalized city center to support a hotel. Currently, there are no hotel rooms in downtown Lakewood.
In the past, studies suggested that Lakewood could not support a hotel. However, millions of dollars have been pumped into downtown Lakewood in recent years, spurring dozens of new businesses and making the area a destination. One study area will be whether or not the hotel should be in downtown or closer to I-90.
"This is not something that was born out of a council meeting -- it came out of the Chamber of Commerce and LakewoodAlive
," says Lakewood Councilman Shawn Juris. "What's always struck me is that Lakewood's main demographic is 20 to 40 year olds, yet we have no wedding industry here. We're studying the feasibility of adding a boutique hotel or bed and breakfast as well as a banquet facility."
"Have the major chains overlooked us because we don't fit their cookie cutter development model? That's one of the things we'll be looking at," he says.
City leaders also want to examine the possibility of converting vacant office space into hotel rooms. Lakewood Center North could benefit from such a conversion.
Source: City of Lakewood
Writer: Lee Chilcote
Photo: Bob Perkoski