Planning commission approves Fairfield hotel

This is the site where the Fairfield is proposed.

The Hollister Planning Commission has approved a new Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott hotel to be built at 390 Gateway Drive, just west of Tiffany Ford.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project at their meeting Thursday night. The commission first approved the hotel five years ago. Developers in 2009 shelved the project due to tough economic circumstances.
“I was very pleased how the discussion went, and I have a lot of good things to say about the project,” said Chairman David Huboi in a phone interview Friday after the vote.
He said there were some concerns voiced about traffic signals at the corner of Gateway Drive and San Benito St., as well as concern about dust debris affecting children at the nearby daycare center. He said the developer addressed those concerns.
The new Fairfield hotel would include 81 rooms and suites, a business work room with an office, an indoor swimming pool, an exercise room, and a breakfast room, according to planners. It is a slightly scaled-back version of the 2009 proposal.
In a phone interview Friday, Commissioner Greg Harvey, who owns Joshua Inn Bed & Breakfast in Hollister, said he is glad the commission approved the project, calling Marriott a “terrifically well-run company.”
“It would bring more business to Hollister in the long run,” he said. “I think they’re making a significant investment in our community.”
He said because of the recent conversion of Pinnacles National Monument into a national park and the resurrection of the motorcycle rally, he thinks new hotels are a “good thing.”
“Because Marriott has such a prominent name, I think that will help attract other businesses here,” he said. “From an economic development standpoint, especially in that area, I think that can be a stepping stone into drawing and attracting more business.”
Commissioner Carol Lenoir in a phone interview Friday said the hotel will be a “great addition” to the city.
“I think the Pinnacles will benefit from that. The motorcycle rally will benefit from that,” she said.
She said she looked forward to more development in the city.
Huboi said he had voiced concern about whether local tradesmen would be able to bid on the construction of the hotel, but the developer insisted they would.
“He’s going to be looking to giving (bids) to local people,” he said.
Huboi said he thinks the hotel solves a “long-term need” for economic development in the community.
“I think the public will benefit from it,” he said.

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