The Exponent Telegram
February 1, 2014
By: Erin Beck, STAFF WRITER
BRIDGEPORT — A Cambria Suites and Conferencing Facility is on its way to Charles Pointe in Bridgeport.
The approximately $25 million project is expected to begin construction early this year.
The seeds for the project began more than a year ago, when city and Charles Pointe officials realized the Bridgeport Conference Center was missing out on lucrative opportunities, according to Bridgeport Mayor Mario Blount.
The city owns the Bridgeport Conference Center, which is managed by CP Hospitality LLC.
CP Hospitality also will be the managing company for the Cambria Suites and Conferencing Facility.
Scott Duarte, managing director for CP Hospitality, provided the city with a report showing that the Bridgeport Conference Center was losing the chance to host big-scale events in the area.
As a result, the region was missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, Blount said.
The city and Charles Pointe considered expanding the Bridgeport Conference Center — which is 15,000 square feet — but that wouldn’t have been cost-effective, according to Blount.
“You could build a new one for almost what you were going to have to spend to expand and build a parking garage at the current conference center,” he said.
When construction of the facility is complete, Bridgeport will be able to compete for bigger events to draw tourists to the area, Blount said.
“Not only can you start being more competitive, you draw from a larger area,” he said. “When you have the hotel rooms as well as a larger conference center, you can start expanding the mileage that you draw from.”
Mark Dellana, Genesis Partners executive director of development, said that growing industries in the area are creating the de-mand.
He listed health care, government and government contracting and oil and gas as examples of booming industries.
“North Central West Virginia has a unique market condition,” he said. “It’s got multiple market sectors that are all happening at the same time.”
In addition to the impact on tourism, the new facility also will create jobs locally.
CP Hospitality will hire more than 100 workers, according to Duarte.
“It’s filling a niche here in our market that’s not fully developed,” Duarte said. “I think it’ll do well.”
The conference center will be able to house meetings for upwards of 400 people, while the Cambria Suites will feature all-suite rooms that are larger than standard hotel rooms and include separate living, working and sleeping space, as well as a full-service bistro and a barista bar.
“With Cambria, it’s a little bit more of an upscale brand — more of a full service hotel,” Duarte said.
Staff writer Erin Beck can be reached at (304)626-1439 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org