Zootel – hotel in a zoo

Guests visiting the Zoombezi Bay zoo in Columbus, OH may soon be able to live with their objects of fascination if the zoo's authorities have their way.  The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reports that "Zoombezi Bay's debut last summer drew 408,711 visitors, and, judging by the variety of license
plates in the parking lot, many were out-of-state vacationers." That has prompted the non-profit's authorities to consider "whether there's enough demand for an on-site hotel or resort,
which would give visitors the option of staying overnight without leaving the premises. Hotel &
Leisure Advisors of Cleveland is conducting a study that will help the zoo decide whether to pursue
the project. Unconventional design ideas for the hotel/lodge include a "treetop lodge". Presumably ADA compliance would form part of the development process. 

As a niche product it probably has a fair chance of success even in recessionary times and while there may be some objections to a non-profit developing a hotel, it could be overcome by by bidding it out to traditional hotel operators as that would ensure operational efficiency as well.

Published by

Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.