STOCKTON — Stockton Metropolitan Airport officials are hoping to find a developer with experience in designing and building large hotels in the coming weeks.
Airport officials have issued a request for qualifications to developers interested in building a hotel with as many as 200 rooms on a piece of land adjacent to the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center.
Airport director Harry Mavrogenes said a new hotel would not only benefit travelers flying into Stockton, but also provide close lodging to out of town visitors to the ag center.
“It’s a combination of both,” he said. “We’re trying to take advantage of the hotel market, which is really starting to grow now. We really need a good hotel to support the ag center, which a study taken last year said was one of the best facilities in California.”
Built in 2008, the Ag Center contains about 9,800 square feet to host events and conferences throughout the year attended by a variety of visitors from outside San Joaquin County.
Typically, visitors to these events and conferences must find hotel accommodations elsewhere, Mavrogenes said. The closest hotel to the center is the Holiday Inn Express at Arch Road and Highway 99, nearly two miles away.
Visitors also make accommodations at hotels along March Lane in Stockton, or at those near the Bass Pro Shops in Manteca, according to Mavrogenes.
The proposed parcel for the hotel is 2.89 acres on the southwest corner of Arch Airport Road and B Street, just a short walk from the Ag Center, he said.
A hotel and conference center study conducted last year cited the location as one of the best opportunities to build, Mavrogenes said, along with sites in Lodi and Manteca.
“The demand is strong, the need is there, and we really need something substantial for the ag center,” he said. “This will help us see how much interest there is in the private sector to build something.”
The airport will accept request for qualifications proposals from potential developers until Nov. 23, and a final choice should be made in early 2017.
Possible hotel brands that would be encouraged include Hilton, Hyatt and Sheraton Suites, Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn, according to the request for qualifications.
Mavrogenes said the hotel will also accommodate flight crews for four daily Amazon air cargo flights out of Stockton, as well as 180,000 passengers in and out of the airport annually.
Those commercial numbers will be increasing in the future he said, as the airport anticipates new flights to and from Mexico and other international destinations.
Not only will a hotel provide lodging for passengers and ag center visitors, but it will also generate additional revenue for the county, Mavrogenes said.
The county currently receives $440,000 a year in transient occupancy taxes from hotel visitors, he said, and a new hotel with 200 rooms could generate another $350,000 annually.
“This is now being done all over the state,” Mavrogenes said. “There’s a good market for it, and now we’ll just wait and see in a couple months how many people are interested.”
The complete request for qualifications can be viewed at flystockton.com/reports. For more information, contact Mavrogenes at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (209) 468-4709.
— Contact reporter Wes Bowers at (209) 546-8258 or email@example.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/bowersblog and on Twitter @WBowersTSR.