DE­MAND

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Business - [email protected] scni. com; 203- 964- 2236; Twit­ter: @ paulschott

It had lan­guished idle for about two years be­cause of the bank­ruptcy of its orig­i­nal de­vel­oper, Se­aboard Realty.

Bethesda, Md.- based Urgo Ho­tels & Re­sorts is manag­ing op­er­a­tions at 25 At­lantic.

“This is an ex­cit­ing time for Stam­ford, and we’re thrilled to part­ner with Mar­riott to bring the city its first ex­tended stay prod­uct,” UC Funds founder and CEO Dan Palmier said in a state­ment. “It’s a nat­u­ral com­ple­ment to the Court­yard and an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to a thriv­ing down­town.”

Other neigh­bor­ing ho­tels in­clude a Mar­riott, at 243 Tresser Blvd; a Sher­a­ton, at 700 E. Main St.; a Ho­tel Zero De­grees at 909 Washington Blvd.; and a Hamp­ton Inn & Suites, at 26 Mill River St.

Eco­nomic driver

Sev­eral other Res­i­dence Inns op­er­ate in Con­necti­cut, in­clud­ing lo­ca­tions in Avon, Dan­bury, Gro­ton, Hartford, Manchester, Milford, Rocky Hill, Shelton and Wind­sor.

An­other Res­i­dence Inn is sched­uled to open in Fe­bru­ary in Nor­walk’s SoNo sec­tion.

Res­i­dence Inn’s growth un­der­scores the ro­bust amount of busi­ness travel in Con­necti­cut. The num­ber of such trav­el­ers in the state an­nu­ally has in­creased 28 per­cent since 2014, ac­cord­ing to the state’s Of­fice of Tourism.

Busi­ness and recre­ational travel com­bined to pro­duce about $ 14.7 bil­lion in sales and $ 1.7 bil­lion in tax rev­enues for Con­necti­cut in 2015, the most re­cent year for which state data are avail­able. The in­dus­try sup­ported about 83,000 jobs.

“The Res­i­dence Inn in Stam­ford is a great thing be­cause of the im­por­tance of busi­ness travel to our econ­omy,” said Randy Fiveash, the Of­fice of Tourism’s di­rec­tor. “Not only are peo­ple spend­ing money in restau­rants and at­trac­tions while they’re here, but they may also re­turn with their fam­i­lies for tourism vis­its to Con­necti­cut.”

Fac­ing com­pe­ti­tion

Many cor­po­ra­tions put their em­ploy­ees up in apartments for longer stays. The con­struc­tion of sev­eral thou­sand units in Stam­ford, Nor­walk and other neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties in re­cent years has cre­ated a pro­lif­er­a­tion of new hous­ing near cen­tral busi­ness dis­tricts.

Home- shar­ing apps such as Airbnb pro­vide an­other op­tion for cor­po­rate trav­el­ers.

Un­der Airbnb’s tax agree­ment with the state, the com­pany au­to­mat­i­cally col­lects and re­mits Con­necti­cut’s 15 per­cent room oc­cu­pancy tax on be­half of its hosts. In Au­gust, Airbnb an­nounced it had gen­er­ated $ 5.2 mil­lion in tax rev­enue for the state in the past two years.

As of July 1, there were 3,600 ac­tive Airbnb hosts across Con­necti­cut, tak­ing in about 140,000 guests dur­ing the past year, ac­cord­ing to com­pany data. The typ­i­cal Con­necti­cut host made $ 6,700 per year by op­er­at­ing ap­prox­i­mately three days per month.

At the same time, lo­cal of­fi­cials in cities such as Stam­ford have grap­pled with reg­u­lat­ing the busi­ness.

In re­sponse to com­plaints about re­ported dis- tur­bances at a num­ber of Airbnb rentals, Stam­ford’s Board of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has de­bated whether the city should adopt new lodg­ing rules for res­i­dences. The leg­isla­tive body voted last year to study the is­sue.

“Airbnb is a part of our travel in­dus­try,” Fiveash said. “But we don’t know yet how Airbnb is af­fect­ing the in­dus­try. We’re still try­ing to de­ter­mine the to­tal ef­fect.”

Stam­ford Res­i­dence Inn of­fi­cials said their ho­tel stands out be­cause of its ameni­ties and fo­cus on cus­tomer ser­vice. They also cite guests’ abil­ity to earn Mar­riott Re­wards points for their stays.

“We pro­vide a unique ex­pe­ri­ence and a level of ser­vice the apartments can’t pro­vide,” Lind­vall said. “We’re hope­ful that we can bring those folks back to a ho­tel. We’re ready to meet the needs of to­day’s trav­el­ers.”

Tyler Size­more / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

A sec­ond- floor view from the new Mar­riott Res­i­dence Inn ex­tended- stay ho­tel at 25 At­lantic St. in down­town Stam­ford on Wed­nes­day.

Gen­eral Man­ager Todd Lind­vall in the lobby of the new Res­i­dence Inn by Mar­riott ex­tended- stay ho­tel.

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