The management company that operates the Hampton Inn in Middletown says it's hoping to open a second hotel here sometime in the next two years.
"We're still in the process of picking a franchise, so it's a little premature to talk about definites at this point," Axia Management President Thomas Kramedas said this week. "But we certainly think 2015 is a realistic goal."
The Dover-based hotel management company currently operates seven locations in Delaware, including the four-story, 72-room Hampton Inn on Sand Hill Drive that opened in 2006.
A few years ago, the company's partners also purchased a 2.75-acre parcel off of Merrimac Avenue that was previously approved for the construction of a hotel as part of Westown Town Centre – a 2,000-acre residential, commercial and industrial development project.
Today, the various aspects of that development project have added nearly 500 homes to Middletown through the creation of neighborhoods such as St. Anne's, South Ridge and Spring Arbor, as well as 225 acres of commercial and industrial development that have included Walmart, Kohl's, Walgreens and Chick-fil-A, among others.
Kramedas said the construction of the 12-screen Westown Movies theater just a few hundred feet from the future hotel site helped to reawaken his company's interest in moving forward with the project.
"We think it's good timing with that project starting up and the economy getting better," he said. "Hopefully, some other things will start to happen in Middletown, and we'll start to see some of the growth that was expected a few years back."
Kramedas said he expects the planned three-story hotel could hold as many as 80 rooms and suites.
"There are certainly times during the year when there is a need for additional room nights," he said. "It's usually not the result of any one specific event, but rather a combination of things going on in the area, such as weddings, graduations, corporate events, golfers in town for a tournament and your typical travelers passing through. It just seems like there's always something happening in Middletown."