Crowne Plaza hotel coming to ILM Business Park

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —  A hotel is coming to Wilmington International Airport.

The New Hanover County Airport Authority has approved a 35-year lease for ILM Airport Hotel Partners. The developers plan to work with IHG Hotels & Resorts to build a Crowne Plaza hotel.

“We are excited ILM Airport Hotel Partners selected the ILM Business Park and is investing $40 million with plans to develop a Crowne Plaza hotel. We have sought an upscale hotel for our ILM Business Park that would offer a convenient, productive, and relaxing option for ILM’s business and leisure travelers, ” Donna Girardot, Chairman of the New Hanover County Airport Authority stated in a news release.

The six-story, 150 room hotel will create 150 jobs during construction and 125 permanent jobs when the hotel and restaurant are finished. It will become the first hotel to open in the 140-acre ILM Business park, just stapes from the airport terminal.

The hotel is expected to include a rooftop bar, and 5,000 square feet of event space, including 3500 square feet of meeting space.

“The airport is often the first impression for visitors to New Hanover County, and that impression will be even better and stronger with the addition of a hotel at ILM,” said Julia Olson-Boseman, Chair of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. “It will further enhance the travel experience to and from our community, while also providing something for residents in our region to utilize, including luxurious accommodations, abundant meeting space, and dining with a view. It’s an exciting project that brings new opportunities and growth, and we cannot wait to see the doors open to ILM’s first hotel.”

Olson-Boseman says this will bring in a lot of revenue to the business park and that means lower prices at the gates.

“Over the next couple of years the industrial park will bring in about $2.5-million a year so we won’t be totally relying on parking revenue anymore and we can bring those gate prices down for our airlines and get lower costs fares for our citizens,” Olson-Boseman said.

The developers, Andrew Weiss and Chip Weiss Junior, are used to building hotels in Manhattan. They had nothing but good things to say about the process of creating a hotel in Southeastern North Carolina. Although they are from out of town, they say they plan to integrate as a part of the community. Specifically when it comes to the restaurant. They say they want it to be a restaurant that just so happens to be in a hotel, not just another hotel restaurant.

“We want it to be a destination restaurant.” Andrew Weiss said.

“But we’re looking only at established restauranteurs in the Wilmington area. We don’t want to bring in somebody from the outside. From our own experience going to various restaurants here, there’s plenty of talent and experience right here in Wilmington,” Chip Weiss Junior said.

They hope to break ground on the hotel in September and it should take about two years to build.

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