Niagara Gazette

November 29, 2012

New hotel in the works

By Justin Sondel
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette —

Another hotel is going up on Niagara falls Boulevard.

The Niagara Falls Planning this week approved a site plan presented by Andrew Terragnolli, an engineer from Optima Design and Engineering, who outlined the details of the 98-room Comfort Inn and Suites to be built by his client, Ali Rizek.

Construction will start on the site - located at 6115 Niagara Falls Blvd. - and the Rizeks hope to have construction wrapped up by the Fall, Terragnolli said.

Galeb Rizek, Ali's brother, attended the meeting on behalf of the family run hotel business. The Rizeks own the Econolodge hotel adjacent to the lot where the new hotel will be built.

He said that the family had bought that lot over three years ago with the intent of building a hotel, but had trouble securing financing during the recession.

"There's more flexibility now so we feel like we're pushing forward," Rizek said. "We wish we could have did it three years ago."

Rizek said that the Comfort Inn will offer tourists more choice on the boulevard.

"The one we have is an economy brand," Rizek said. "This one would be a mid-teir brand. It's the same franchise so we think they'll compliment each other."

Rizek said that occupancy rates have been going up every year at the family's Econolodge.

"Business is good," Rizek said.

The planning board attached a few conditions - lighting restrictions, a few more trees between the hotels - before passing the site plan.

Rick Smith, the board's chairman, said the added shrubbery will serve as a "buffer" between the hotels and the lighting standards will ensure that neighbors aren't disturbed by bright parking lot pole lights.

"The way they put them on they have to be hooded and they have to point down," Smith said.

The Rizek's second hotel is a welcome addition to the growing number of lodging accommodations in the city, Smith said.

"We don't turn hotels down," Smith said. "We're a tourist town. We need all the rooms we can get."