BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — Within the past several years it has become apparent that Clifton Park has only continued to grow. Don’t believe this is true? Just count the number of hotels that have been built and — even though the number of these Hilton Inns and Marriotts are increasing — they all are packed to full capacity.
Now there is yet another new hotel on the horizon, which was just brought in front of the Planning Board on July 14 for first time. The applicant — Tony Casale, owner of Casale Rental, an equipment rental operation located in Clifton Park — has proposed a La Quinta Inn & Suites at 1747 Route 9.
The building’s footprint would be 18,200 square feet. It would be four stories tall, contain 104 rooms and an indoor pool, and would have 113 parking spaces for guests. It would cost approximately $9.5 million to build.
“As a property owner in Clifton Park, I noticed that all of the hotels were full in Clifton Park and everyone has been commenting about how occupancy rates are so high and there seemed to be a great demand for it,” Casale said. “Clifton Park is so centrally located that everybody seems to enjoy staying here.”
The hotel would be located directly behind a new strip mall that Casale is currently finishing. Its six stores should be open by Oct. 1.
“This was proposed last month for the first time,” Town Planner John Scavo said. “The earliest they could come in again would be September; they have to bring some initial engineering back before the board.”
There is the possibility that this project could be approved after one more meeting. “If they had the engineering with no additional comments from us, potentially,” Scavo said. “But I think they are looking at late fall, early winter for approval if I had to guess at a timeline.”
As usual, traffic issues must be taken into consideration. “The only thing we are really taking a look at is traffic and the net increase or decrease in traffic by adjusting the original traffic study — the original proposal that showed an office building — for a 104 room hotel,” Scavo said. “We will also coordinate with New York state DOT to see if there is any mitigation required on Route 9 to offset any potential traffic impacts that the hotel may bring.”
One thing that seems not up for debate is that hotels in Clifton Park are in demand; the philosophy of “if you build it they will come” seems to ring true.
“The Capital Region as a whole exceeds the national average as far as annual occupancy rates so the region has the ability for market absorption,” Scavo said. “Locally, we definitely need another hotel.”
The style of the La Quinta would add a little zest and flavor to the mundane hotel hues and architecture. “I think La Quinta is very well priced; it’s an ultra modern facility and, as far as I know, it’s the only pet-friendly hotel in the area — they don’t charge anything extra,” Casale said. “The design will fit in well with this area, it’s a sharp-looking hotel.”
He continued: “If all things go well we’d like to start [construction] this season and be open for next May.”