A new hotel is now under construction on Duluth's Park Point. Fairfield Inn and Suites will open their second Duluth location in early Summer 2017 at 1000 Minnesota Avenue adjacent to the Lakeland Boat Basin.
Details for this project have changed immensely since they were last made public. Developers a number of years ago had initially proposed a nine story hotel that would have featured a ground floor restaurant and 140 hotel rooms. Those plans immediately saw disapproval from the surrounding community which stated that the project was too large for the site.
Then the recession hit and the entire hotel project was put on hold.
In 2015 developers brought the idea of a hotel for the site back to the drawing board with plans showing a 70 room, three story AmericInn hotel with a convenience store on the ground level. The Duluth Planning Commission approved those plans however they were displeased that the hotel's architecture did not match the surrounding architecture of Park Point. The developers themselves were not even thrilled with the new plans stating that the hotel "would work, but it won't be as lucrative" as the original proposal.
Even with the approval and tentative date of opening last summer, construction never began on the AmericInn project and the site sat dormant with another failed project seeming to have occurred.
THE NEW PLAN
What is now planned for the site, and actually already under construction, is a three story Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott. The hotel will contain 83 guest rooms, a little larger than the 70 room AmericInn originally planned for the site.
The design of the new Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel sports the chain's modern look and is drastically different than what was approved for the AmericInn. The hotel features a modern exterior with large uses of white stucco along with accent colors and horizontal linework. The design doesn't necessarily match the surrounding neighborhoods architecture however it is without a doubt a drastic improvement on what previously was proposed.
This new Fairfield Inn and Suites will be the second location for the company in Duluth, with the first located near the Miller Hill Mall. Another Marriott brand, Residence Inn, opened about a mile away from the Fairfield Inn location on Central Entrance around four years ago.
News of this new hotel project under construction shows that the recent hotel boom in Duluth is continuing. Pier B Resort opened this past Spring on Duluth's waterfront while Holiday Express and Suites opened in Hermantown a few months prior. Hampton Inn and Suites, which currently has one location in Canal Park, is constructing two more locations within the Twin Ports with the location across from Texas Roadhouse in Duluth expected to open in January while the location under construction in Superior will open next summer.