New, affordable hotel comes to Delray - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

New, affordable hotel comes to Delray

Fairfield Inn will feature rooms at $150 per night. Fairfield Inn will feature rooms at $150 per night.
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DELRAY BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Delray Beach has become famous for its downtown.

Atlantic Avenue, east of 95, is filled with restaurants, stores and hotels. But what kinds of hotels, and at what price?

Delray's economic development team says most of the current ones are too expensive for middle class vacationers.

But there are plans for a new hotel on Atlantic Avenue near the intersection of Southwest 9th.

It will be a Fairfield Inn and will feature rooms at $150 a night.

Lucina Olmstead is on vacation this week and could only find a room for about $300 a night.

"It's very hard to find anyplace now that's in that $100 to $200 range. Especially in this area," said Olmstead.

Her hotel is near the water. At five nights, she and her husband are looking at $1,500 just to sleep.

"If I didn't have to pay that much at a hotel, it would certainly go to the different areas, different businesses... shopping!" said Olmstead.

Delray's community redevelopment agency did a study that says only two of the nine hotels downtown offer room rates for less than $160 a night.

They believe the city is missing out on business people and middle class families who want to stay in Delray, but can't afford it.

Hence, new plans for a Fairfield Inn, in a vacant lot a half mile from most of Delray's shops.

"They might be able to trade things like proximity to the beach for a lower-priced hotel room and even extend their stay," said Elizabeth Butler, the marketing director for the Delray Community Redevelopment Agency.

But this mid-range hotel won't be like some of the others in Delray.

It will be built without a full-service restaurant, performance area or other frills.

"Visitors who are staying there would then be encouraged to go out to the surrounding businesses, and eat at those restaurants, patronize those businesses, shop in those retail shops," said Butler.

Olmstead, a teacher, says she would gladly trade proximity to the water and built-in entertainment for a cheaper, no-nonsense hotel.

"We can get to the beach easily, we can drive, or get transportation to the beach or restaurants," said Olmstead.

Although the area around the new hotel is relatively quiet now, the CRA plans to build it up before the hotel is finished.

Their long-term goal is to build up Atlantic Avenue from Swinton all the way to I-95, to create a "seamless" area of development.

The CRA says the no-frills hotel is the linchpin.

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