Friday, November 9, 2012

When will the Media Hampton Inn be built? It may not matter.

Sketches of proposed Springfield Hotel
The very first thing I thought when I saw the drawings for the new hotel to be built next to the Springfield County Club was, "Wow, is the 6 year old proposed Hampton Inn in Media still relevant?"  Six years ago when the property was purchased and the concept of a hotel was proposed, it seemed like a good idea.  96 rooms, conference facilities,  close to the airport, no other hotel around and a vital piece that would compliment  Media Borough commerce. 

For better or worse, I wasn't the only one who thought the concept was interesting.  Every few months I was asked by a Healthcare company in Newtown Square as to when the new hotel would be opened.  They have a lot of people fly in for training and meetings and were excited to have a facility in Media that would fit their needs while making an enjoyable experience for their guests.  As excited as they were, they no longer ask when the Hampton Inn will be completed.  Truthfully, it’s been so long, I suppose a lot of others have forgotten about it too, let alone wonder when it’ll be open.

In my opinion, Media will have a need for some sort of hotel, but since the market is quickly changing, would the type and size of the hotel also change? Would a boutique hotel like Hotel Warner in West Chester be a more appropriate fit now?  Look, if I'm coming in town for the first time with no perspective of the area and see the future Springfield hotel compared to a the Media Hampton Inn, I'm going with the former.  I suppose a large percentage of others in that situation would agree too.

Six or even two years ago,  Swarthmore College might have been happy to see a hotel in Media, and so would have the company I mentioned, but it appears Springfield may have that market identified with a hotel that a Media Hampton Inn will have trouble competing with.  This leads to an interesting scenario: Can Media now economically support a hotel business that was proposed six years ago in a competitive climate now developing from Springfield and eventually from the Middletown Franklin Mint Center?  I can assure you, the Media Hampton Inn won’t be booked 365 days a year with people just interested in coming and staying in Media for the sake of being in Everybody’s Hometown, this hotel will need to rely on an offset of corporate, business and leisure travel that is quickly drying up due to competition.  I can see that and I’m sure the decision makers can too.

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hampton Inn started construction tomorrow, announced a delay/sale, or came out and notified the community the project is being cancelled.  I just don’t know, but after six years and the hype surrounding this hotel,  I’d have thought there would have been more urgency to begin construction.  


  1. I thought I just heard a collective "ouch" in Media .

  2. If it were me, I'd choose the location with walkability (Media).

  3. The hotel may as well be in Wallingford. How many people walk from Wallingford to downtown Media? It's too small for dedicated taxi service.

  4. That's a good point; may as well be in Wallingford. Although it's physically not very far from downtown, psychologically it feels farther away than it is. A walk would require crossing Providence Road which is very pedestrian unfriendly. I like the idea to which Mr. Tedman alluded. A boutique hotel in the heart of town would be killer. The Media mall used to be a theater. Remember seeing a picture of the front of it in Frank Lees' documentary. Looked really sharp. Meanwhile, let's be real, the Media mall is hokey. Could you imagine if just the original facade was restored with the inside rebuilt as a boutique hotel? I don't know, just a wild idea.

  5. tedman - you should move to springfield where you can support whatever they do. you do NOT represent Media with your thinly veiled agenda. Nice try though.