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Construction on Destiny USA hotel will continue during winter months

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

SYRACUSE — Construction work on Destiny USA’s upcoming hotel will keep on rolling during the winter months, according to David Aitken, an executive with Destiny USA.

The $48 million hotel is under construction in the lot at the intersection of Hiawatha Boulevard and Solar Street across from the shopping and entertainment complex.

The construction work started back in June, he says. The hotel is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. Aitken spoke with CNYBJ on Oct. 31.

Destiny USA on Oct. 24 announced its upcoming hotel will operate under the Embassy Suites by Hilton brand. That same day, Destiny USA raised an Embassy Suites flag to mark the announcement.

Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., along with several local contractors, is handling the construction work.

The hotel project has created more than 200 construction jobs and will result in more than 70 permanent jobs when the hotel is completed.

When asked what prompted Destiny USA to pursue the hotel project, Aitken said the venue has been working to attract visitors, both individuals and in group tours, from “longer distances.”

“We want to give people the opportunity to take historically what might have been a couple-hour experience to a several-hour experience at Destiny, then give them the opportunity to spend the night, take advantage of some of the live entertainment, and then experience the other things in Central New York, which we all enjoy,” explains Aitken.

Destiny USA has had visitors in group tours from 16 different countries in 2016, he adds.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Syracuse – Destiny USA will serve as the “go-to property” for guests traveling to visit Destiny USA, the mall said in a news release. The hotel property will also feature an onsite restaurant and pool.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with Embassy Suites and Hilton on this exciting venture, which further solidifies Destiny USA’s reputation as an international tourist destination,” Stephen Congel, CEO of Pyramid Management Group, LLC, contended in the release.

A lending group led by M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB), which also included Berkshire Bank (NYSE: BHLB) and Tompkins Trust Company (NYSE: TMP), financed the $48 million hotel project, Destiny USA said.

The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) also has approved a tax exemption for the hotel. OCIDA forged a PILOT agreement with Destiny that reportedly could save the company up to nearly $7 million in taxes over a 12-year period.

Upon completion of construction, Plano, Texas–based Aimbridge Hospitality, the nation’s second largest independent hotel-management firm, will operate the facility.

The hotel will feature all of the “signature” amenities offered at Embassy Suites. The Destiny USA release says they include free made-to-order breakfast each morning; a complimentary two-hour evening reception with drinks and snacks; and suites with a separate living area, formal sleeping area, and a bar fitted with a microwave and refrigerator.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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