San Joaquin County explores building hotel near airport


   The Stockton Metropolitan Airport is looking for developers interested in building a 150 to 200-room hotel on airport property.
   The airport has issued a Request for Qualification to developers to build the proposed facility at the corner of Arch Road and B Street.
   “The difference between a Request for Qualification and a Request for Proposal is we aren’t asking people to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to put in a full proposal,” said Airport Director Harry Mavrogenes. “It’s the first step to determine what kind of interest there is. If we get a lot of response, we hit a good time in the market.”
   The proposed hotel would provide conference space to augment the nearby Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center. Airport officials believe that improving demand and increased hotel rates and occupancy make this a good time to expand the county’s supply of hotel rooms.
   “When you see the occupancy go up above the low 70 (percent) the market is tightening up,” said Mavrogenes. “The Hotel and Conference Center Study prepared for the county last year, cited this location as one of the prime hotel opportunities in the county. There hasn’t been a lot of hotel development since the recession.”
   The airport currently accommodates approximately 180,000 passengers per year and recently began air cargo services with Amazon.