Metro-East News

O’Fallon has 11 hotels off I-64. Now it’s adding two more.

Construction will begin this year on yet another hotel along Interstate 64 in O’Fallon.

It will be a 100-room Hampton Inn, next to Regency Conference Center, according to developer Darrell Shelton of D&D Lodging, based in O’Fallon.

In the same vicinity, a Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel already is under construction.

“I think our expectation is to be open by the first of October,” said developer Brad McMillin, of the Allyson Group, also based in O’Fallon.

The two projects will further O’Fallon’s evolution as a lodging mecca in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The city has 11 hotels along Interstate 64. There are another eight in Fairview Heights and one in Shiloh.

“There’s just a demand for (lodging),” said Ted Shekell, O’Fallon community development director. “O’Fallon is a great place to stay. It’s easy to get in and easy to get out.

“Say you’re going to a Cardinals game or a Blues game, or you have business in St. Louis ... This is is an affordable place to stay,” he added. “It’s safe, it’s only 15 minutes from the Arch, and you’ve got all the restaurants that you can imagine.”

O’Fallon hotels also serve visitors to Scott Air Force Base, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Memorial East Hospital, and people who travel from across the Midwest for tournaments at O’Fallon Family Sports Park.

This rendering shows what the Marriott TownPlace Suites hotel in O’Fallon will look like. Developer Brad McMillin expects it to open in early October. Provided

D&D built Regency Conference Center and the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn 11 years ago. Original plans called for a second hotel in the development, but those got put on hold because of the U.S. recession, Shelton said.

Now the project is back on track.

“We hope to start construction by August, and it will take a year to complete,” Shelton said.

The Hilton Garden has 128 rooms, so the Hampton Inn will nearly double the Regency’s lodging capacity. Shelton expects it to open in late summer or fall of 2019.

The project’s revival is good news for the city, Shekell said. “It will actually help with conferences because they can bring in more attendees.”

The Hampton Inn will be a 58,000-square-foot, four-story hotel with a contemporary design and indoor pool in a separate building.

“It’s a big project, and it’s an exciting one,” Shelton said. “We believe we’re hitting a sweet spot on lodging. The Hampton Inn is such a popular hotel. You have a marvelous registration system, and you get the Hilton reward points.”

The five-story Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel in O’Fallon will have a swimming pool, small store and meeting space for up to 70 people. Its 89 rooms will include one- and two-bedroom suites and kitchenettes.

“We’re set up for the regular hotel market but also the extended-stay market,” McMillin said.

Another Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel is being built in Edwardsville by a different developer. McMillin owns several hotels and Beltone hearing aid stores.

Shelton and his former partner, Darwin Miles, developed O’Fallon’s Central Park Plaza, which dates back to 1996. Today, it includes a movie theater, car dealerships, a Menard’s store, restaurants and other businesses.