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New York hotelier plans 116-room Grand Hilton for Robinson Township

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Robinson is attracting several hotels, including one by a Rochester, N.Y., company making its entrance into the Pittsburgh region.

DelMonte Hotels plans to build a 116-room Hilton Grand Hotel on a 3.15-acre site along Park Manor Drive, marking its first hotel in Pennsylvania.

“We have all the approvals from the township to start building,” said John DelMonte, managing partner. “We have 17 hotels in New York state, but we like the Pittsburgh region and decided to build a hotel there.”

One reason E.J. DelMonte Corp. likes the Pittsburgh hotel scene is because occupancy of hotels here this year averages 66.3 percent. That is 2.4 percent higher than the national average, said Jeff Higley, a spokesman for Hotel News Now and Smith Travel Research Inc. of Hendersonville, Tenn., which tracks the hotel industry.

Kirby Payne, president, HVS Hotel Management of Newport, R.I., said the higher occupancy indicates demand is strong, meaning hoteliers have less need to discount by offering promotional rates or listing vacant rooms on Internet sites such as Hotel.com.

Keith McGraw of Concord Hospitality plans a 100-room Hampton Inn & Suites next to Concord's 132-room Marriott Courtyard at Settlers Ridge in Robinson. Construction on the Hampton should start early next year, he said.

McGraw, a partner with Mark LaPorte at Concord, said business is so good at the Courtyard, they decided a second hotel is needed.

DelMonte acquired its site from Robinson Manor Hotel Group 2689 LLC, part of Morgan Management of Pittsford, N.Y., for $2 million, acccording to a deed filed in Allegheny County.

Crews will begin site work soon and install footers and other support beams early next year, DelMonte said. He anticipates the hotel will open in late 2014 or early 2015.

He would not say how much it will cost to build and furnish the hotel.

“We will continue to survey the Pittsburgh region for additional hotel possibilities,” he said.

In adjacent Moon Township, McGraw said Concord will open its Hilton Homewood Suites, next to offices of Glaxo and FedEx, in early 2014. Sam DiCicco is part owner of Concord.

Sam Spatter is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7843 or sspatter@tribweb.com.

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