The new Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony last with week the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce and Hollister Downtown Association.
“I understand that their capacity has been full and we look forward to it being full going forward,” Chamber of Commerce President Juli Vieira said at the ceremony. “We’re thankful that they’re here. We’ve already had two chamber events here since they’ve been open.”
The grand opening event featured hotel tours, prize drawings and refreshments provided by Fisher’s Catering, Lighthouse 55 Bakery and Duckhorn Wine Company.
The new hotel, located at 390 Gateway Drive, features 38 guestrooms, 39 suites, an indoor pool, fitness center, breakfast room, and meeting room with space for 50 guests. Each hotel room provides amenities like television and wireless, high-speed Internet.
“The newly built hotel is creating a high level of enthusiasm with our team and the Marriott International brand further advances our goal of being the premier lodging facility in San Benito County,” General Manager Justin Nicholls said. “The Marriott brand favorably positions this hotel for generating new business opportunities. We strive to be the hotel where Hollister hospitality shines the brightest.”
The hotel is operated by Lotus Management Inc., a San Jose-based hotel ownership, management and development company. The company represents large hotel brands like Marriott International, Choice Hotels and Wyndham Hotel Group.
“We are delighted that the Marriott brand now includes Hollister, CA, which has the distinction of hosting many of the city’s top events,” said Sita Patel, regional director of operations with Lotus Management Inc. “We’re confident that the new hotel will provide both guests and the community with a vibrant hospitality experience that they’ll value.”
The management company employs just under 25 people at the Fairfield Inn & Suites. Although they aren’t hiring at the moment, Nicholls said they typically accept housekeeping applications anytime.
The City of Hollister first issued a building permit for the Fairfield Inn & Suites in December 2014.
Then in June 2017, the Hollister City Council approved an agreement to defer the hotel’s payment of impact fees until December 22, 2018 in order for their inclusion in a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) incentive program. The deferment of impact fees has an estimated financial impact to the city of $524,245.
The city council approved the TOT program in September, with a goal for the program to provide incentives to develop quality hotels and the rehabilitation of existing hotels in the city to enhance regional tourism, provide visitor-serving facilities, and assist the city in reaching its tourism goals.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott would qualify for a 50 percent transient occupancy tax rebate for ten years with a cap of $2 million, according to city staff. There’s also the possibility to extend the incentive an additional five years with a 33 percent rebate to the transient occupancy tax, should a future city council choose to do so.
Both the City of Hollister and San Benito County have positioned the region as a refreshing getaway to the hectic day-to-day life up in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, with the Chamber of Commerce marketing the county up and down California.
Hollister would gain plenty if the TOT program is successful in bringing high-quality hotels like Fairfield Inn & Suites to the region, as well as rehabilitating existing hotels, which would further circulate tourism dollars.
The program is expected to be evaluated annually and will sunset in three years, unless continued by future city council action.