WEST CHESTER -- Major new retail developments and plans for a sports complex have helped spur a boom in hotel building along Interstate 75 in southwestern Ohio.
More than 700 new rooms will be added to market over the next 12-18 months, The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported.
In some cases, plans delayed by the recession are now moving along with construction of a new Bass Pro Shops and a Cabela's in the Butler County area.
Both of the sporting goods stores are expected to open next year.
The Streets of West Chester shopping and entertainment area just off I-75 north of the Interstate 275 is expected to add more retail and dining space in late 2015.
A new sports complex also is being developed to attract out-of-town teams to tournaments.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital is adding to its Liberty Township campus, and the $350 million Liberty Center project is being constructed nearby. It will include a hotel among its retail and entertainment options.
Among projects underway is Centre Park of West Chester, which will have a Holiday Inn and 650-seat event center.
"West Chester is growing very well, but also, why do we want to building amongs the other hotels there?" said Neha Bhatnagar, of developer Middletown Hotel Management. "You don't have a facility that can accommodate 650 people with a hotel attached to it."
Sharonville officials said the city plans a hotel and meeting facility project, expected for 2016, which should complement West Chester projects while its recently remodeled convention center draws trade shows and regional events.
"It makes the package of the region stronger and more attractive to these events" said Jim Downton, the Sharonville Convention Center's executive director.
The added hotel space also complements MetroParks of Butler County's upcoming multipurpose field and athletic complex to feature 22 natural grass sports fields.
"Additional rooms will afford tournament organizers more options and more space," said Kelly Barkley, spokeswoman for MetroParks.
Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, http://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront