Holiday Inn breaks ground by Bellingham airport

Developers broke ground on a 153-room Holiday Inn across the street from the Bellingham International Airport last week.

The new hotel will include more than 7,500 square feet of conference rooms, meeting space, a restaurant and bar, and surface and underground parking.

The hotel is being built on about 3.8 acres owned by the Port of Bellingham on Mitchel Way, just south of the Pacific Cataract Laser Institute near the airport’s commercial terminal.

Construction should take about 16 months and is valued at $20 million, according to a press release from the port.

The Holiday Inn is the largest in a wave of new hotel projects in Bellingham that began with Marriot SpringHill Suites and La Quinta, which opened in late 2013.

Dan Mitzel, co-managing member of Bellingham HI, the developer, and part owner of Hotel Services Group, which will manage the hotel, said the hotel will pursue conference business.

“We intend to create a market for inbound midsize group conference business that is not being pursued to any significant degree by the existing hotels that are located in Bellingham,” he said in a press release. “Bellingham needs to become a destination for out-of-area conference business.”

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