By Bill Parry
A brand new 90-room hotel opened in Corona Friday just a short walk from Citi Field, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the USTA Tennis Center, home of the US Open.
The Best Western Plus LaGuardia Airport Hotel overlooks the No. 7 subway line on Roosevelt Avenue and 112th Street.
“It’s just one block from the 111th Street subway station and it’s very close to the Grand Central Parkway for easy access to both LaGuardia and Kennedy airports,” manager Anup Chauhan said. “We run a complimentary shuttle to and from LaGuardia, we also have a fitness center and a meeting room available for business. We also have complimentary WiFi, although that’s pretty much required in this day.”
With rooms starting at $159 per night the hotel offers rooms at less than half the cost of rooms in Manhattan. In 2013 the average hotel rate was $290, according to NYC Statistics and it’s a driving force behind an unprecedented five-year building boom expected to add another 50 hotels in the borough by 2019.
“In the ‘70s and ‘80s New York City averaged 10 million visitors a year,” Queens Tourism Council President Rob MacKay said. “Last year we had almost 57 million tourists alone. The folks at Best Western do their research, they know what they’re doing by putting a hotel in Corona. My prediction is they’ll be at capacity very shortly.”
MacKay spends a lot of time showing foreign tourism writers around the borough.
“All of these people are flying in to Queens and now they are staying in Queens,” he said. “It seems like the whole world wants to come here. These hotel companies are riding a wave as tourism and hospitality are booming. I’m predicting Best Western Plus will do very well with business travelers, long-stay visitors who want cheaper options than Manhattan hotels, and don’t forget its proximity to Flushing and the ever growing Chinese market.”
The hotel’s success will help Corona as well.
“We already have 16 full-time staff and all are within walking distance,” Anup said. “It helps us be a part of the community and they can all get here when it snows.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr