As published in Toledo Business Journal - July 1, 2018

Fairfield Inn & Suites being constructed in Port Clinton

Fairfield Inn & Suites being constructed in Port Clinton

Port Clinton wins new $8M hotel project

Ground was broken in late May on a new Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel being located at 1811 E. Perry Street in Port Clinton. The new hotel will be a four-story building with 86 guest rooms. The developer, RAR Hospitality, located in Port Clinton, is investing an estimated $8 million in the project.

“We are pleased to be a part of the growth and development of Port Clinton. We appreciate all of the support that we have received from area officials and so many others,” stated Raffaele Ruta, a principal with RAR Hospitality during the groundbreaking ceremony. Jamie Beier Grant, director, Ottawa County Improvement Corporation, presented Ruta with several proclamations from area officials as local dignitaries joined to welcome the new business to Port Clinton. The Ruta family has been in the hospitality industry for many years, with Raffaele’s father Ralph and Uncle Mike having developed a number of hospitality properties in the Sandusky and Port Clinton area.

In an interview with Toledo Business Journal, Ruta shared plans about the new hotel. “We have designed the new hotel to take advantage of the water views of Lake Erie. Guest rooms face the water as visitors come to the area for the Lake Erie experience. The summer months will certainly be busy, and we will also work on obtaining additional business in the off season. The Marriott name and reservation system will be important to this effort,” Ruta explained.

The site on E. Perry Street overlooks Lake Erie and is the former home to a Travelodge motel with the original structure being built in 1975. Demolition of the old structure has been completed along with other site work that was required. Construction of the new hotel will cost $5.5 to $6 million and the remainder of the $8 million investment will cover property acquisition costs, demolition, and site preparation.

The project is being financed by Croghan Colonial Bank in Port Clinton. Marty Folger, vice president, commercial lending is the loan officer involved with the project. Dan Schloemer, senior vice president/chief lending officer at Croghan Bankshares, Inc. was also involved with the financing.

The general contractor for the project is Schnippel Construction, located in Botkins, Ohio close to Lima. The firm specializes in hotel and motel construction throughout western Ohio, central Ohio, eastern Indiana, and northern Kentucky along with a number of other target project categories. In the Toledo area, Schnippel built the Hampton Inn in Rossford and a former Del Taco restaurant in Holland. In addition to its focus on hotel and motel construction, the firm provides mill wrighting services, design and fabrication of fall protection systems, and is an authorized distributor of Brocks Bins, which serve the agricultural industry.

Raffaele Ruta, a principal with RAR Hospitality during the ground breaking ceremony (L) and Jamie Beier Grant (R), director of Ottawa County Improvement Corporation

Raffaele Ruta, a principal with RAR Hospitality during the ground breaking ceremony (L) and Jamie Beier Grant (R), director of Ottawa County Improvement Corporation

“A decision was made to utilize the design/build method of construction,” stated Keith Schnippel, principal of Schnippel Construction. “A number of important benefits will result from this decision as the timing for completing the project is important.” With the design/build approach, Schnippel Construction is responsible for both the design of the new facility as well as its construction.

“Speed of construction is very important to the project owner,” Schnippel stated. RAR Hospitality wants the new hotel to be in operation for the peak summer season, making the timing for completion very important. The timetable set for the project is to complete construction in April 2019, approximately one year. Selection of the design/build approach was driven in large part by this schedule. Combining responsibility for both the project design and construction with the general contractor has reduced the timing needed for the new hotel’s completion. “We specialize in design/build for our clients and have used this approach extensively. This is what we do every day,” stated Schnippel.

In the interview with Toledo Business Journal, Ruta shared additional aspects of the new hotel. “It will have the important features and benefits of other Fairfield Inn & Suites hotels around the country,” explained Ruta. Some of the Fairfield Inn features include:


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