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SpringHill Suites hotel planned in Lancaster

Scott Enterprises plans to expand its local presence with a Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel off Transit Road in the Town of Lancaster.

The Erie, Pa.-based company plans to build the hotel on three acres of undeveloped land it is buying next to the hotel and restaurant that Russell Salvatore opened a few years ago. The site is behind a Friendly's restaurant, just north of the Thruway.

Scott Enterprises expects to complete its $2.15 million purchase of the land later this week, said Chris N. Scott, owner and vice president. The 100-room hotel project is estimated at $11 million to $12 million.

The company's plans call for construction to begin late this year and for the hotel to open in spring 2013.

Scott Enterprises has steadily increased its local portfolio in the past few years. It opened the motorsports-themed Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant on Transit, just north of the planned Marriott site, and a Staybridge Suites hotel on Transit in Clarence, south of Sheridan Drive. It also has opened two Papa John's locations in the region.

Scott Enterprises is buying the land for the SpringHill Suites from Bob Kunvarji, who for years had planned to build a hotel on the site but did not follow through on the project. Given that the site was already targeted to be a hotel, Scott said the company expects the approvals process with the town to go smoothly. Nine other hotels and motels are clustered along that stretch of Transit, which is near a Thruway exit.

Scott Enterprises operates a host of hotels and restaurants in the Erie, Pa., area, as well as the Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park and Resort.

While the company operates Marriott-affiliated hotels elsewhere, this will be its first SpringHill Suites. The Transit Road location also will be the first SpringHill Suites in Western New York.

Marriott introduced the brand in 1998 and now has 270 SpringHill locations nationwide. The format caters to both business and leisure travelers, according to Marriott.

Scott said Salvatore expressed interest in purchasing part of the land that Scott Enterprises is acquiring, to enhance his own neighboring property. But because Scott Enterprises has not decided how it might ultimately use all of the land, it is not making any commitments, Scott said. Salvatore opened his restaurant, Russell's Steaks, Chops and More, and the attached Salvatore's Grand Hotel in late 2008.

Scott Enterprises has found the Buffalo area -- just over an hour from its home base in Pennsylvania -- a good spot for expansion, Scott said. "People in Buffalo are very good to work with."

Scott said the Staybridge Suites it opened is exceeding the company's expectations. He said the Quaker Steak and Lube is "doing pretty well," but the company has to build more local brand awareness for it.

The company has its eye on the region for additional projects, such as several more Papa John's, plus a Qdboa Mexican Grill, a chain akin to Moe's and Chipotle, he said.

e-mail: mglynn@buffnews.com

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