NAPA -- A 100-suite hotel, the first hotel to open in the growing industrial areas next to Napa County Airport, is set to open in early January.

The $24.6 million SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel is the second phase of a nearly 10-acre office, hotel and retail project called Napa Gateway Plaza.

"The project was initiated in 1995," said William Maston, a Mountain View-based architect and investor in Airport Boulevard Realty LLC, the project owner, with former Telecom Valley executive Clifford Rudolph and Napa Valley Petroleum President John Chasuk. "It took almost 12 years to gain all necessary public approvals."

The project was approved, but it became embroiled in a legal fight over land-use policy around the airport. The dispute was settled in 2003, and the first building, a professional office building with a Vintage Bank branch, was completed that year.

The hotel is scheduled to open Jan. 8 at 101 Gateway Road East in Napa Valley Gateway Business Park, a 386-acre development at the northwest corner of the busy intersection of Highway 29 and the Jamieson Canyon Road-Highway 12 link between Napa Valley and Interstate 80 in Solano County.

The hotel sits on 4.4 acres and has a 6,200-square-foot conference center served by a commercial kitchen with catering facilities. The center has a conference room able to hold 125 people and two 20-person executive meeting rooms.

The hotel is approved for outdoor events with up to 350 people and also has a bar with wine-tasting options.

The third phase of Napa Gateway Plaza includes shop, office and restaurant space. Business owners in the airport-area business parks have been requesting more local retail and dining choices.

Introductory hotel room rates are $139 a night. In April, nightly rates will be $189 and $239 on Fridays and Saturdays.

The project team included:

Developer: Golden West Ventures LLC, Los Altos

Lender: Intervest Mortgage Co., Lake Oswego, Ore.

Contractors: general – Andrews & Thornley Construction, Napa; plumbing – Risse Mechanical, Rio Linda

Architecture: building – TWM Architects & Planners, San Rafael, and Don Hamilton, Reno; landscape – Brian Powell & Associates, San Rafael; interior - Design Atelier, San Rafael

Engineering: civil – Delta Consulting & Engineering, St. Helena; structural – Peoples Associates, Milpitas; geotechnical – Phoenix Geotechnical, Napa; electrical – Rex Moore Engineering, West Sacramento

For more information, call hotel General Manager Bobbie Freeman at 707-253-1900 or visit the hotel Web site at www.marriott.com/sfons.