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Carowinds Builds Hotel

02/13/18 at 08:52am in Carowinds Builds Hotel (Latest Edit: 02/13/18 at 08:53am by BGW Family.)
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With 2018's Camp Snoopy well under way and rumors of a new coaster in the shuttered Whitewater area for 2019, this rumor can be laid to rest.

The amusement park will begin construction on a five-floor, 130-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel this spring on the northeast corner of Carowinds.

Carowinds plans development on northeast side of park

Charlotte Business Journal Wrote:Carowinds will soon begin site work to make way for a development on at least part of the land it rezoned last year.

The amusement park confirmed it will begin construction on a five-floor, 130-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel this spring on the northeast corner of Carowinds. The Charlotte Business Journal previously reported that the 24.2-acre parcel at 14523 Carowinds Blvd., which Carowinds rezoned last year, was pegged for a SpringHill Suites hotel.

   

Expected to break ground by the end of March, the hotel will be owned and operated by Carowinds as a Marriott franchise. It's the first hotel that Carowinds will develop, though its parent company, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. (NYSE: FUN) out of Sandusky, Ohio, owns four hotels elsewhere.

The hotel will include suites as well as a pool, fitness center, small bar and an outdoor seating area with a fire pit, according to Lisa Stryker, director of communications at Carowinds. The SpringHill Suites is expected to open in the summer of 2019.

Stryker said there are no other confirmed plans for the remainder of the site and that Carowinds is "always considering the best use of land." Cedar Fair acquired the land in 2011 for $810,000. A conventional rezoning request last year rezoned the land to a light industrial zoning designation that permits a wide range of commercial uses.

The cost of the project was not disclosed, but Stryker said the hotel is part of a $50 million expansion plan for Carowinds that also includes renovations to the park's Camp Snoopy area and last year's Carolina Harbor expansion.

Pat Jones, general manager of Carowinds, said in a statement that providing a place for guests to stay is "the next step" in the park's evolution.

Concorde Construction is the general contractor for the hotel project.

Cedar Fair owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor waterparks, one indoor waterpark and four hotels. The company will host a quarterly conference call with investors to discuss 2017's fourth-quarter and year-end earnings at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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02/13/18 at 10:57am in Carowinds Builds Hotel
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I find it interesting that Cedar Fair has decided to franchise a national hotel brand instead of using internal naming. With the chain already owning four other hotels, I am confused as to why they went the franchise route. Especially with the hotel being 100% O&O by Cedar Fair, it's not like Marriott has any stake in the hotel outside the sign on the building.

If I had to speculate I would guess with this being their first hotel outside of Sandusky that Cedar Fair wanted to make sure the hotel had a built in customer base? It does mean that the hotel will use Marriott's reservation system and rewards programs, but I think it devalues the fact that it's Carowinds' hotel versus just another Spring Hill out on the main Boulevard.

But franchise agreements with hotels often end so perhaps after Carowinds gets themselves established in the hospitality market the hotel could be park branded, especially if they eventually open a larger resort style property.

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02/13/18 at 12:32pm in Carowinds Builds Hotel
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Partnering with Marriot gives you the bonus of having their familiar branding and being promoted on their websites. People like familiarity and rewards points. It's the same reasons Colonial Williamsburg did the same thing with the Williamsburg Lodge.

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02/15/18 at 01:49am in Carowinds Builds Hotel
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Not going to lie, if the option is there, I will opt for a Marriott, but cards on the table, I am a lifetime platinum member, so they kind of own my soul.

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02/15/18 at 10:12am in Carowinds Builds Hotel
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I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I was just surprised by it considering all of the chains other hotels have their own unique branding.

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02/15/18 at 03:05pm in Carowinds Builds Hotel (Latest Edit: 02/15/18 at 03:06pm by Joe.)
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I see the marketing benefit of including the Marriott branding, but I wish the name had at least some distinguishing feature to show that it's the official park hotel. If I were looking for a hotel specifically so I could stay close to Carowinds, "Carowinds Hotel by Marriott" or even "Carowinds Springhill Suites by Marriott" would have me much more interested.

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