Fort Wayne Airport to Build New Parking Area

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority plans to buy and demolish a hotel to replace it with a parking lot.

The airport authority has agreed to buy the Days Inn hotel, which has about 145 rooms, for about $800,000, said Tory Richardson, executive director with the airport authority. He said the building will be torn down and converted into 500 parking spots _ increasing airport parking by about a third.

"Through the summer months, there were many days where the (airport parking) lots were full," Richardson said. "So it just makes sense to do it here if we can, so we can keep it close and convenient for our customers."

Airport officials said there were about 340,000 passengers at Fort Wayne International in 2004, compared with about 306,000 passengers in 2003.

The Days Inn deal is expected to close in the spring, Richardson said, with demolition of the hotel planned soon afterward.

The Fort Wayne area has more than 65 hotels with a total of more than 5,300 rooms, according to the Fort Wayne Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Calls to the Days Inn hotel were not returned earlier this week. Attempts to reach the hotel by phone Saturday were also unsuccessful.