The Wheaton Park District entered into an agreement Wednesday to bring a hotel to the Arrowhead Golf Club property. Officials signed a letter of commitment with Fairway Suites, LLC, allowing them to represent the park district in presentations to hotel chains such as Marriot, Hilton and Hyatt for a potential project.
According to a report submitted to the park district by Fairway, the hotel would have approximately 120 suites. Assuming the hotel operates at 70 percent occupancy, the hotel would generate 45,000 guests per year, the report states.
Board Commissioner Kim VanderSchaaf said that the hotel would not meet the mission of the park district and was not needed at the facility.
Commissioner Phil Luetkehans said the hotel would help revenue for the park district. Commssioner Terry Mee said that nothing in the park district’s vision precludes them from hotels or other “primary money makers.
“We’d be foolish to look the other way and not consider it,” Mee said.
Brian Burton, Chief Operating Officer of Fairway Suites, LLC, told board members Wednesday that the plan for a hotel at Arrowhead is a “simple concept.”
The hotel franchise would enter into a long term lease agreement with the Wheaton Park District, Burton said Thursday. He explained that Fairway approached Arrowhead about the deal after a hotel franchisor identified Wheaton as a market they'd like to enter.
He explained how the golf course and its “outstanding” banquet and dinner facilities would allow the hotel to be built without any additional site work. "We seek out a golf course that has amenities that would be a good match ... Arrowhead definitely has those," he said.
Fairway Suites hotels target the business traveler and Monday through Thursday short-term commercial travelers for extended stays, according to the Fairway report. The suites provide large rooms with kitchenettes, internet and complimentary breakfasts.
Fairway will now represent the park district in discussions with major hotel brands and has preliminarily assembled a package to distribute to hotel franchisors on Monday, Burton said, noting that it usually takes two to three weeks for franchisors to send someone to look at potential properties. The park district, however, is not obligated to any expenses related to the project, according to the letter of commitment.
The board meets again at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17.