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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 3:07 am | Fair 46º


3 New Hotel Projects to Add 350 Rooms in Lompoc, Santa Maria and Santa Ynez Valley

Hampton Inn & Suites properties to open in Buellton and Santa Maria while Hilton Garden Inn is taking shape in Lompoc

A new 156-room Hilton Garden Inn is under construction at 1201 N. H St. in Lompoc and could open as soon as May. Click to view larger
A new 156-room Hilton Garden Inn is under construction at 1201 N. H St. in Lompoc and could open as soon as May. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The number of hotel rooms in northern Santa Barbara County will be growing in the new year.

In Lompoc, the Hilton Garden Inn under construction at 1201 N. H St. near Barton Avenue will add more than 100 new rooms in the city.

Hilton officials said in October that the new hotel could open as soon as May.

The four-story, 108,000-square-foot building will contain 156 rooms, 29 of them suites, along with meeting rooms and a ballroom. Other amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center and a swimming pool.

“We’re focused on securing hotel properties in utterly unique and convenient locations, and the new property in Lompoc will be a fitting addition to the Hilton Garden Inn portfolio,” said Matt Wehling, senior vice president of development for U.S. & Canada Hilton Worldwide.

“Guests will have access to major attractions nearby with the assurance of a comfortable guest room or suite to unwind in after a long day.”

Costa Mesa-based Ayres Hotel Co. shelved plans to add a hotel at the Lompoc intersection of Highway 246 and 12th Street, near the popular Wine Ghetto.

The hotel would have added another 110 rooms, developer Don Ayres said, adding that the cancellation of the project was a business decision.

In Buellton, a Hampton Inn & Suites under construction at 600 McMurray Road, east of Damassa Road, could open as soon as February.

The three-story, 61,692-square-foot hotel will add 99 rooms to the Santa Ynez Valley inventory. The complex also will have a swimming pool and bocce court.

Shelby Sim, executive director of Visit Santa Ynez Valley, welcomes the addition.

“We do not have enough rooms for our visitors,” he told Noozhawk. “This is a really good thing for us.”

A 99-room Hampton Inn & Suites is under construction at 600 McMurray Road in Buellton . Click to view larger
A 99-room Hampton Inn & Suites is under construction at 600 McMurray Road in Buellton .  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

In the peak seasons of Christmas and summer, the valley could fill hundreds more rooms, Sim said.

“We’re very excited about the investment in the area,” he added.

A crackdown on short-term vacation rentals in local communities also is boosting the need for more hotel and motel rooms, Sim added.

A hotel is included in the Buellton Village Specific Plan, a multiple phase project across from the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, City Administrator Marc Bierdzinski said.

However, no plans have been submitted for that portion of the project, which already has added new businesses northeast of the intersection of McMurray Road and Highway 246.

Hotels are key for helping small cities and tourist organizations like Visit Santa Ynez grow their budgets, for several reasons.

First, they generate transient-occupancy taxes, or bed taxes. Another fee adopted for some communities helps fund programs to attract more visitors.

“Hotels are a main source of revenue for the city through the transient-occupancy tax we collect,” Bierdzinski said. “More people staying in town also means that our existing businesses (restaurants, wineries, distilleries, etc.) have more customers, which thereby generates more sales tax revenue for the city.

“We expect the Hampton Inn & Suites to fill a lodging niche that the city currently does not have.”

In Santa Maria, construction on a Hampton Inn & Suites on North Broadway near Preisker Lane is expected to start in 2017, Planning Division manager Peter Gilli said.

The new hotel is planned for vacant land at the Preisker Commercial Center site.

“At this point that’s the only hotel that has gone through the planning process,” Gilli said.

The project would add 108 rooms to the northern end of the city, north of Broadway from the area where Holiday Inn Hotels & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites and Candlewood Suites already operate.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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