IRVING - A tourism destination that will include a hotel, waterpark, restaurants and a travel plaza is being developed for Sunset Bay in Irving.
On Wednesday, the county Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors heard from Michele Borrello, MMM Real Estate Development president, about the preliminary project plan. Borrello said MMM Real Estate Development purchased 11.6 acres of land on Beebe Road in March with the intent to build a $10 million tourism destination. The project is expected to create 70 construction jobs and 150 full- and part-time permanent positions once the location is open.
The hotel will be three stories high, with 70 to 74 rooms that will also include a banquet hall, meeting room and fitness center. Borrello said the company wants construction to start by August and, hopefully, be completed by summer 2013.
Photo by Dennis Phillips
Michele Borrello, MMM Real Estate Development president, discusses the preliminary site plan for a tourism destination that would include a hotel, waterpark, restaurants and a travel plaza near Sunset Bay in Irving.
''It is all one project, so it will be done all at the same time,'' she said about the construction.
Borrello said the hotel will not be franchised. However, construction will follow the specifications of a chain hotel, so it could be franchised in the future. She said the tourism destination will have two restaurants - one fast food and one sit-down dining. The development will be next to Tim Hortons in Irving, along the Routes 5 and 20 corridor.
MMM Development officials will be seeking financial assistance through the IDA with respect to real property, sales and mortgage tax abatements, which will be negotiated at a later date.
Bill Daly, IDA director, said George Borrello, county legislator, R-Irving, had been seeking a developer for a hotel in the Sunset Bay area because, outside of cottages, there is no place to stay in the area overnight.
George Borrello, who is Ms. Borrello's cousin, said thousands of people on the weekends visit Sunset Bay during the summer. He estimated 80 percent of those visiting Sunset Bay are from outside of Chautauqua County. He said there are no hotels between Dunkirk and Hamburg, so tourists need a place to stay.
''The issue has always been how to get people to stay longer and spend more money,'' he said. ''Once a hotel is located in the area, it brings other businesses. This is the seed we need to bring things to the next level in the north end of the county.''
George Borrello said even during the non-summer season, the area gets a lot of tourists who travel the wine trail and winter enthusiasts wanting to ride their snowmobile on the trails in the town of Hanover.
Officials from the town of Hanover, having heard the plan, are also enthusiastic for the project.
"It is an amazing project," Town Councilman Kevin O'Connell said. "It will be great for the whole town."
O'Connell and Councilman Fritz Seegert, liaisons to the town's planning and zoning boards, said the whole town is behind the project, but the process will be a long one involving many agencies of government including the state departments of transportation and environmental conservation to deal with new traffic patterns and stormwater runoff.
During the IDA meeting, the board approved being the lead agent for the first step in the project, which will be the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). In the future, a more definitive site plan for the tourism destination will need to be submitted and public hearings will be held.
Nicole Gugino, OBSERVER Assistant News Editor, contributed to this article. Send comments on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.