One of the Capital Region’s largest independent hotel chains is giving up more of its independence as it attempts to elevate its profile by affiliating with national brands.
The Cocca’s Inn and Suites at the Latham Circle will soon become a Travelodge. And preliminary plans are being drafted to raze the Route 7 Cocca’s and redevelop it as a La Quinta Inn & Suites or a Candlewood Suites.
The changes come amid increased competitive pressures from the waves of new hotels that have opened in the Capital Region over the past two years. And the first change will come May 1, when Rocky Cocca turns his 66-room Latham Circle hotel into a Travelodge. Travelodge is a brand under Wyndham Hotel Group, which includes the Super 8, Howard Johnson and Ramada chains. Depending on how successful the re-branded Cocca’s is at netting more reservations, Cocca might also re-brand his Wolf Road hotel.
“It’s disappointing after 27 years. But we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses,” said Cocca, who in 1991 took over the family business his father started more than 30 years ago.
After the May conversion, Cocca’s chain will include three independent hotels and two franchises. In 2006, Cocca opened the region’s first La Quinta, a 78-room Southwestern-style hotel. The Latham chain also includes a 50-room hotel on Route 9.
The Latham Circle hotel was originally a Thunder Motor Inn that Cocca’s acquired in 1981. About two years ago, Cocca completed a $250,000 renovation, which included the development of the Loudon Room banquet hall.
Those renovations, which also included room improvements, afforded the hotel AAA recognition in September. The hotel’s average daily rate is expected to increase by up to 10 percent under the Travelodge affiliation.
Cocca is now looking into another La Quinta, on the 10-acre site of his 36-room Route 7 hotel. On Wednesday, he will meet with Colonie planning officials to discuss the project’s conceptual plans.
The redeveloped Route 7 hotel would feature up to 100 rooms and a stand-alone franchise restaurant. An extended-stay Candlewood is another option for the property. Candlewood is a brand under the InterContinental Hotel Group, which includes the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains.
“If we were in Lake George, we would have no problem maintaining our independence,” said Cocca.
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