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The Summit Group Completes $6 million Renovation of  Former AmeriSuites;
Rebranded as Springhill Suites by Marriott, Flagstaff, Arizona

By Joe Ferguson, The Arizona Daily Sun, FlagstaffMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Sep. 13, 2009--Former guests of the AmeriSuites hotel on Beulah Boulevard in Flagstaff wouldn't recognize anything if they set foot inside the entirely renovated hotel today.

The Summit Group, a South Dakota-based hotel investment company that bought the property more than a year ago, reportedly spent more than $6 million to update the property, now called Springhill Suites by Marriott. Workers spent months replacing the carpeting, wallpaper, furniture and fixtures. They even replaced the walls.

"There probably isn't a piece of (original) sheet rock in this hotel," said Duane Cristion, the general manager for the hotel. "We wanted to make sure the building is as new as possible."

Christina Speer, the director of sales for Springhill and the recently completed Marriott Courtyard one block away, said the nearly 16-year-old hotel was in dire need of a remodel.

She said most Marriott-branded hotels usually renovate every five years, so the former AmeriSuites was due for a makeover.

"It is going on 16 years without changing the carpet," she said.

She added that any hotel that uses the Marriott brand has to meet very specific criteria.

"The hotel had to be up to certain standards to fly the Marriott flag," she said.

So the Summit group replaced just about everything, including the interiors of the elevators on the five-story building and the concrete lining of the pool.

"The only thing that still exists (from the original hotel) is the windows," she said.

The new rooms come with flat-panel televisions that swivel, pull-out sofas, mini-fridges and iPod docking stations. The company also replaced the hot tub with a fitness center.

The rooms, which are 25 percent larger than a regular hotel room, cater to traveling families and leisure travelers, said Speer.

Room prices, which include a continental breakfast, start at $109 a night.

The company spent $10.7 million to buy the 116-room hotel, according to county records. A remodel of the lobby sacrificed four rooms, bringing the total number of rooms down to 112.

Joe Ferguson can be reached at jferguson@azdailysun.com or 556-2253.

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To see more of The Arizona Daily Sun or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.azdailysun.com.

Copyright (c) 2009, The Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff

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