Yet another hotel has been proposed for the downtown area, at Fruitville Road between Cocoanut and Central avenues. This 118-room property brings to 1,346 the total number of new keys planned or under construction in Sarasota’s downtown. Without question, increasing the number and type of short-stay options helps Sarasota capitalize on worldwide interest in our area, and tourism officials have long known that many transient visitors eventually become residents, thereby boosting property values. Although there could be a short-term spike in vacancy rates when the Westin Hotel, aloft, Embassy Suites and others go head-to-head and compete against existing product, Sarasota overall will, long-term, benefit greatly from an increased number of visitors and through the allocation of additional marketing dollars by hotel operators. This month the former Sarasota Quay site at North Tamiami Trail and Fruitville Road obtained approvals from the City Commission. While there is no timeline for vertical construction at present – and more than $30 million in significant subterranean and surface preparation must be first undertaken – the 15-acre site is entitled for 175 hotel rooms, which will only add to the lodging fabric of the downtown area.