How do we explain hotel rooms costing $151,900 elsewhere costing the City of Lancaster $358,000?


By Robert Field

According to the headline of a recent article in LNP, “Marriott hotel addition now to cost $39.4M, with $9M from CRIZ”.

The article states “Since last summer, developer Penn Square Partners’ budget for the 110-room annex has increased by just under a third, from $29.9 million to $39.4 million, city and company officials said.”

That amounts to $358,000 per room.

HVS, one of the hotel industry’s leading experts on hotels, reports in “US Hotel Development Cost Survey – 2015/16” that mid-scale hotels without Food and Beverage, the case with the Marriott addition, cost an average of $151,900 in total.

Why should a $151,900 cost of a new hotel room become $358,000 in Lancaster, an area of moderate construction costs?

Penn Square Partners, a subsidiary of both the Steinman family and Dale High is the developer, franchisee, manager and equitable owner of the Marriott (with an option to buy from the City at a nominal cost.).

With the addition funded by a $9 CRIZ gift (at the cost of future tax payers) and further financed through bonds through the City of Lancaster, into whose pockets would proceeds flow if costs are bloated?





Updated: April 17, 2017 — 11:49 am


  1. All of these ‘rubber-stampers’ need to be removed; and get people that will ask questions, actually say NO; and truly represent the taxpayers

  2. This should not be a shock to anyone, the news made this public yearsssssss before the project ever started!!!! How should tax payers be responsible for this considering the are not part of the government or A government subsidized company, plus they jacked up hotel taxes to reimburse Marriott for any losses annually. Try explaining how tax payers should even be involved in this corruption!

  3. …If these deals later collapse, developer is off the hook. Once real estate taxes are pledged, there are no other guarantees.

    The numbers appear to be so unusually high so that the developer(s) may be able to skim their investment equity back off the top as the project is completed. If the deal is going to be loosely audited, they may just elect to just skim their share off in cash.

    If there is some semblance of an audit, they may become or have an interest in a subcontractor. This could be as simple as the vendor providing furniture or appliances for the rooms. Either the developer shakes the vendor down for a kickback or he is a silent investor in the vendor.

Comments are closed. © 2016