Why The Mayor Of Maricopa Is Excited About A Midscale Hotel

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, August 19, 2019 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, August 19, 2019 - 8:22am

Permit Center Supervisor Daranne Tacker (left) and developer Andy Bhakta
City of Maricopa
Permit Center Supervisor Daranne Tacker (left) and developer Andy Bhakta (right) hold the building permit for Maricopa's first hotel on Aug. 15, 2019.

The city of Maricopa recently issued a building permit for its first hotel.

Twenty years ago, Maricopa had about a thousand residents. Today, there are 50,000 more. But it’s not just Maricopa’s growth that attracted a developer for La Quinta Hotel. Mayor Christian Price said it’s also the region’s growth.

“I’ll give you an example,” he said. “Casa Grande a few years ago had a nationwide lacrosse tournament, and everybody in the nation that was in the top echelon of lacrosse came to Casa Grande. They had every single hotel room booked from Surprise to north Tucson, and there still weren’t enough hotels.”

Proving grounds for Volkswagen and Nissan attract business travel to Maricopa. A 2018 feasibility study on an extended-stay hotel paid for by the city estimated Volkswagen’s proving grounds generated 12,000 room nights in 2017 while Nissan generates between 5,000-7,000 room nights annually. The report also said the market needs non-casino lodging options.

“When you look at the Ak-Chin hotel, people say 'Well, they just built on another 200 rooms,'” Price said. “Yeah, but the difference is, is they comp out 90-to-95% of them to their gamblers every night. They don’t want little Billy’s grandma coming to stay, they want their gamblers to come and stay.”

La Quinta is expected to open next year, marking the first phase of a planned 18-acre mixed-use project. The mayor said the city has already heard from another chain interested in building a hotel.

“It is going to have an impact,” Price said. “Now only from a growth perspective but most cities have a bed tax and so that will certainly help us as we strive to provide more services to the general public.”

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