UPDATED: Pinehills hotel leaps another hurdle

The Planning Board gave its blessing to plans for a 50-room hotel of Landmark Drive at the Pinehills.

Gary Dower, principal of the Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles, N.Y. outlined plans for the project and touted his company’s success.  Plymouth has “fabulous amenities” and is well-situated between Providence and Boston to host a destination resort.

He estimated the new hotel would be ready for opening by the spring of 2014. The construction would provide 250 jobs, while the hotel itself would employ 140. He hoped to establish a relationship with the culinary arts program at Plymouth South High School. At the urging of Planning Board Member Paul McAlduff, Dower said he would look into working with the PSHS cosmetology program, too.

Putting a hotel in the Pinehills has always been part of the plan, said John Judge, the president of the Pinehills. A decade ago, the hope was to install a much larger hotel operated by the Marriott Corporation, but as tourism business fell following the September 11 attacks, that idea fizzled out.

The new hotel will be located on a 6.3 acre parcel behind Village Racquet and Fitness. The spot, Judge said, offers excellent access. “We always felt this would be a great lodging site,” he added. Fire Chief Ed Bradley, Judge added, was comfortable with the access plan for the building.  Commercial deliveries would come in via the front of the building and then directed to a loading area in the back, according to Dower, who suggested he wanted to keep the flow of traffic coming in and out of the hotel to a minimum.  He said he hoped that guests would “drop off their car on a Thursday and pick it up on a Monday.”

Judge said he thought the current road system could handle the additional traffic, but added the master plan allows for the creation of a turning lane if needed. According to Town Planner Valerie Massard, the traffic levels will conform to what is allowed since the Mirbeau is substantially smaller than the hotel that was originally anticipated.

The spa will sit prominently on a hill, Judge said. Dower said that, like his New York location, It will resemble a French country estate, complete with a pond in back designed to be reminiscent of a Monet painting. “The point of the architecture is to allow guests to feel they’ve gotten away from their normal lives,” Dower said. The hotel will, he explained, be broken up into several buildings, giving it a residential look.

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