Prince George's County

Prince George’s on Cusp of Hotel Boom

Prince George’s County officials are pushing for the jurisdiction to become a visitor’s destination, and the number of hotels proposed in the next several years could make that a reality.

The county has at least up to 3,000 rooms either under construction, or in the planning stages. Some may not even happen for various reasons such as the market, which allows for more proposals to come through.

“I like to say that the balance of power, tourism-wise, in the Washington area has shifted in our direction after years of being focused downtown [D.C.] and in Northern Virginia and our emergence as a destination helps all the local tourism economies,” J. Matthew Neitzey, executive director of the county’s Conference and Visitors Bureau, said in an email last week. “Being able to visit National Harbor, MGM, Tanger Outlets [in Oxon Hill], the University of Maryland and Six Flags America gives you a reason to spend an extra night at your hotel no matter where you’re staying in the metropolitan area.”

According to a hotel catalogue, about a half dozen already opened and broke ground this year that include two in Capitol Heights and one in College Park.

The Hotel at the University of Maryland in College Park — a full-service, 297-room structure — plans to open later this year and a 144-room Courtyard by Marriott in Bowie broke ground two weeks ago.

The list also shows a possible hotel near the Greenbelt Metro station in hopes the federal government will chose that city to house the FBI headquarters, which still awaits approval by the federal government.

The 300-room hotel at the MGM casino resort at National Harbor that opened in December continues to be one of the most high-profile locations in the region.

The Peterson Cos. of Fairfax, Virginia, that built National Harbor proposes to add a 500-room structure by 2020 near the resort, according to the bureau list. Ryman Hospitality, which owns the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, owns a parcel next to it and may build another.

The majority of the hotels proposed aren’t full-service such as the MGM and Gaylord that provide a concierge, spa and other upscale amenities.

Several, however, are part of the Marriott and Hyatt chains such as one slated for Brandywine in three or four years.

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and other county officials attended a ground-breaking ceremony May 10 for a $50 million retail development that could have a 100-room Marriott built in the third of four phases.

Mani Patel, CEO of TripleStone Real Estate and owner of the property, said the hotel remains an integral part of the project that awaits more funding. In addition, officials hope the success of a Chipotle, Verizon store and other businesses scheduled to open this year will entice hotel officials to move in along the busy Route 301.

According to county traffic figures, an estimated 85,000 vehicles travel along that highway daily. The site sits less than a mile away from the Charles County border that houses the St. Charles Town Center and its more than 130 retail stores and restaurants.

“I like P.G. County. This is the only county I could think that could really grow in the Washington area,” Patel said. “This is a prime location with 301. It’s a lot of people who come through here.”

County officials are optimistic more high-end hotels will come.

“We are very positive there will be boom of new hotel construction,” said David Iannucci, deputy chief administrative officer for economic development in the county executive’s office. “What we see in the pipeline is larger than anything we have seen recently.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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