April 8, 1999

Marriott Courtyard Hotel slated for Cornell Business and Technology Park

A Rochester developer has announced plans to construct a 106-room hotel at the corner of Route 13 and Warren Road in the Cornell Business and Technology Park. Plans for the business-oriented Courtyard Hotel, part of the Marriott International chain of hotels, will be submitted to the Village of Lansing for review and approval.

The four-story hotel, which should be ready for occupancy by the end of 1999, will serve both the park and Tompkins County Airport. A hotel has been part of the park's master plan since it was adopted by the Village of Lansing in 1989. The new hotel is projected to cost about $6 million and is expected to create 30 new jobs.

The Ithaca Courtyard Hotel by Marriott will feature business-oriented guest rooms with some of the latest technology, including Internet access, according to developer and operator John Del Monte, president of the E.J. Del Monte Corp. The new hotel also will offer its guests free services such as photocopying and faxing and computer and printer use in the library/lounge area of the hotel. Other amenities will include a small restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, an indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and a small meeting room about 1,000 square feet in size, Del Monte said. In addition, there will be exercise and locker rooms available for all employees in the park. There will not be a ballroom or conference center.

Del Monte said: "The hotel's location, in the business park and its adjacency to the airport, the nearby commercial centers and the Marriott brand name will provide a modern and attractive alternative for travelers seeking lodging."

The addition of new jobs and more than 100 hotel rooms in the county is a "welcome sign," said Kenneth Ivins Jr., president of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, which includes among its programs the Ithaca/Tompkins Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"In the last few years, more than 115 beds have been lost with the demise of the Collegetown Motor Lodge and the closing of the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge," Ivins said. "Not only will the hotel meet the needs of business travelers, but it will allow more people to stay in Tompkins County instead of in an adjoining county, especially during peak and seasonal periods. The overall effect will be to keep more sales-tax dollars here."

The Del Monte family operates 17 Marriott hotels in New York state and currently has four properties under construction. In a recent competition among 240 Marriott franchisees, Del Monte won two national awards from Marriott Corp. for "innovation, maintaining outstanding guest-tracking services, consistent performance, and service excellence." Courtyard by Marriott, with more than 430 hotels worldwide, was voted by readers of Entrepreneur Magazine as the nation's favorite hotel chain.

Cornell Business and Technology Park -- a 300-acre suburban office park that includes 20 buildings with about half a million square feet of space -- stretches from just south of the county's public safety building on Warren Road to Cayuga Medical Center's Convenient-Care Center and the Ithaca Community Child Care Center south of Route 13. About 100 acres south of Route 13 are designated for future residential construction.

The park was established in 1951, but it has experienced significant growth since 1986, according to John Majeroni, director of real estate for Cornell and the park. Tenants include high-technology and Fortune 500 companies and range from start-up firms with two employees to larger businesses such as CBORD and Claritas, among others in the technology, medical, business, government, education and services fields. In all, 88 businesses with 1,400 employees are located in the park. The total annual payroll for employees in the Cornell Business and Technology Park exceeds $51 million.

Majeroni said the park owes its existence to town, city and county cooperation that dates back to the 1950s and that the park is a major contributor to the local tax base. 'In the past 10 years, the park has generated more than $3.2 million in property taxes for the community," Majeroni said. "Without any further development, we estimate that another $8.1 million in taxes will be generated over the next 10 years," he said, noting that the park, as a project, is among the top 10 property-tax generators in the county.