SUITE DEAL: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Hudson hotels luring NYC visitors with better prices, view
Thursday, February 22, 2007
By DORINE BETHEA
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Whether it's for business or pleasure, travelers to New York City have discovered Hudson County.
The choice of hotels in Hudson County ranges from luxury hotels overlooking the Hudson River - such as the Hyatt Regency Jersey City and the Sheraton Suites in Weehawken - to the convenience and affordability of the many hotels in the Meadowlands.
"It's all about location, accessibility and the fact that prices in New York City are very, very high," said Debra Wanko, director of sales and sales manager for Courtyard by Marriott on Washington Boulevard in Jersey City. "It's all about the demand from New York."
Visitors can save as much as $200 a night by staying in Hudson County instead of Manhattan, according to online price comparisons.
"There are things that go on in the city that filter people this way. Instead of staying in the city they will come here," Wanko said.
For example, the Courtyard typically draws a large number of guests for the New York City Marathon.
The hotel industry's growth also means new retail, hospitatlity and other service jobs, said Ron Simoncini, a spokesman for Hartz Mountain Industries, which owns the Sheraton Suites in Weehawken and the Doubletree Club Suites in Downtown Jersey City.
"For every hotel room you create, you create a half job or more. That's a lot of jobs," he said. "On some level everybody benefits when a new dollar comes to the region."
The new money is evident in the billions of tourism dollars the state receives. Of $32 billion spent on travel and tourism last year, Simoncini - who is also a spokesman for the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau - said, more than $8 billion was generated in the Secaucus Meadowlands area.
"We have more office space and more hotel rooms than all but a dozen or so cities," he said, noting that seven hotels call Secaucus home on Hartz property.
Simoncini said industry leaders reported about $100 million in new investments were made in Hudson's hotel business between 2005 and 2006.
The Doubletree, which Hartz Mountain built in 1996, was the first new hotel that opened in Jersey City in 40 years; then came the Courtyard by Marriott, Candlewood Business Suite and the Hyatt Regency at Harborside. In fact, at least five new luxury hotels have been built in Jersey City over the past seven years.
A Hampton Inn and Suites opened in Harrison in 2004, heralding that town's redevelopment boom.
Work is under way on a Westin Hotel in Downtown Jersey City and the W Hotel Hoboken.
For Hartz Mountain, investing in hotels in Weehawken and Jersey City was a smart move, Simoncini said.
"These are places Hartz Mountain thought would be vibrant destinations and they were right," Simoncini said. "As time goes on these destinations will support more and more hotel rooms."
Just as a side note New Jersey is in the top 10 for the most visited states in the nation by tourists.