New ho­tels would bring 218 rooms right next to the air­port

The Tribune (SLO) - - Front Page - BY NICK WIL­SON nwil­[email protected]­bune­

Two new three-story ho­tels would bring more than 200 rooms to a five-acre site near the San Luis Obispo County Re­gional Air­port — a pro­posal that could bring ac­com­mo­da­tions next to the fa­cil­ity for the first time.

The ho­tels could po­ten­tially serve busi­ness pro­fes­sion­als on work trips, in­clud­ing tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try work­ers, as well as Edna Val­ley wine coun­try vis­i­tors and other lo­cal tourists, said Pam Jar­dini, the plan­ning con­sul­tant for the de­vel­oper, Tem­ple­ton-based Sun­smit LLC.

The con­cept, which calls for sep­a­rate ho­tels of 100 guest rooms and 118 guest rooms at 950 and 990 Aero Drive, is in the early stages of plan­ning, ac­cord­ing to a 53-page staff re­port pub­lished by the city of SLO.

“There are no ho­tels re­ally close to the air­port, so this gives the op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple do­ing busi­ness lo­cally to stay overnight,” Jar­dini said. “And the air­port has added new flights and it’s re­ally ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions, so it would serve those needs as well.”

The clos­est ho­tels to the air­port now are off Los Osos Val­ley Road.

The site is the same prop­erty where de­vel­oper Hamish Mar­shall’s firm West­Pac In­vest­ments Inc. pro­posed a 134-room hotel in 2007. The econ­omy went into re­ces­sion shortly there­after, and that project was never com­pleted.

On March 18, San Luis Obispo’s Ar­chi­tec­tural Re­view Com­mis­sion re­viewed a pre­lim­i­nary ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mit­ted by Sun­smit LLC, un­der the name of ap­pli­cant San­jay Gam­pule.


Each hotel would be 45 feet in height, with flat-top roofs and ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures ex­tend­ing to 52 feet. They would be built on a va­cant space neigh­bor­ing High­way 227 and Aero Drive near the air­port’s park­ing lot.

One of the pro­posed new ho­tels would be 63,000 square feet, while the other would to­tal 66,000 square feet, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port.

“Both ho­tels are an­tic­i­pated to be branded,” the city’s staff re­port stated. “How­ever, a brand has not been se­lected at this time.”

Jar­dini said that the hotel de­vel­oper has a brand part­ner in mind but isn’t yet ready to an­nounce.

Hotel ameni­ties would in­clude out­door pa­tio and din­ing ar­eas, meet­ing space, fit­ness rooms, break­fast ar­eas and hotel guest bars. The larger hotel would have an out­door 490-square-foot pool. Ameni­ties would be open to guests only and not the pub­lic, the staff re­port noted.


At the ear­li­est, the de­vel­oper hopes to break ground by late spring or mid-sum­mer 2020, Jar­dini said.

The site borders the air­port’s park­ing lot, and the new hotel build­ings would par­al­lel Broad Street, ac­cord­ing to the con­cep­tual plan.

The first of the hotel build­ings would be built clos­est to Broad, be­fore a se­cond goes in be­hind it dur­ing a lat­ter project phase, Jar­dini said.

“We’re look­ing at do­ing a new kind of con­struc­tion where rooms are built off­site and mod­u­lar­ized, then brought in to the project site,” Jar­dini said. “It’s more money up front, but con­struc­tion time goes down and it’s less of a site dis­tur­bance.”

The ap­pli­cant still must sub­mit a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion, which is ex­pected to come in about a month, and then the city’s Ar­chi­tec­tural Re­view Com­mis­sion would re­view the project again for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion of rec­om­men­da­tion to the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, which would de­cide whether to ap­prove it.

The City Coun­cil would only as­sess the project at a pub­lic meet­ing if a Plan­ning Com­mis­sion ap­proval (or de­nial) is ap­pealed.


The SLO air­port has been ex­pand­ing in re­cent years, open­ing a new ter­mi­nal in 2017 and adding ser­vice to Seat­tle in 2016.

On Tues­day, it adds an­other des­ti­na­tion when Amer­i­can Air­lines begins year-round ser­vice to and from Dal­las-Fort Worth In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The first flight from Dal­las ar­rives at 10:39 a.m. It’s the far­thest east lo­cal fliers can travel on a non-stop flight.

Ar­ris Stu­dio Ar­chi­tects

A ren­der­ing of the pro­posed new hotel project near the air­port. Two ho­tels to­tal­ing 218 guest rooms are en­vi­sioned.

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