BY Martin A. Brower
Orange County Coast
Seeking to lure business travelers during the week and tourists on weekends to Irvine, several hotel developers have nearly 800 hotel rooms in some stage of development, from "about-to-open" to "in-planning." Weekend hotel occupancy has been lower than desired, and is being spurred by a relatively new organization called Destination Irvine. In taking over operation of its hotel in Irvine, the former Hyatt Regency Irvine now called the Irvine Hotel, the Irvine Company has emphasized its push on gaining weekend occupants.
Scheduled to open in November 2014 is a 210-room Courtyard by Marriott in the Irvine Spectrum. The eight-story, $50 million hotel is being developed by R.D. Olson Development, Irvine, which is developing Marriott-affiliated hotels all over Orange County.
Also moving ahead is a 170-room hotel by S3 Hospitality to be flagged as a Hilton Garden Inn. The five-story hotel is rising on Morse Road just off the San Diego Freeway (405).
The city of Irvine is currently reviewing plans for a 161-room Homewood Suites long-stay hotel on Redhill Avenue. Developer is DKN Hotels, Irvine.
While none of the above full-service hotels could be termed a luxury hotel, the potential for a luxury hotel exists for a location in the Park Place office/residential/retail complex at the intersection of Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive. A 180-room, high-end hotel is rumored for this project, which some years ago had plans for a 15-story, 300-room Ritz-Carlton.
The city of Irvine currently has 14 full-service hotels with 3,400 rooms including the 536-room Hotel Irvine and the 485-room Irvine Marriott.