|By Don Dodson, The News-Gazette,
Champaign-Urbana, Ill.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
September 27, 2010 --CHAMPAIGN -- A new company has taken over the Candlewood Suites project on Moreland Boulevard in Champaign and is slating a December opening for the extended-stay hotel.
St. Louis-based Midas Hospitality acquired the 83-room hotel under construction in north Champaign from Main Street Builders.
That Wisconsin-based company announced plans for the hotel in 2008, but had to abandon the project before it opened.
When Midas took over the project about a month ago, the three-story structure at 1917 Moreland Blvd., C, was "under roof," with the exterior finished and drywall up inside, Midas President David Robert said.
The hotel would be the second Candlewood Suites for Midas, which already operates one in Paducah, Ky. Candlewood Suites has more than 270 locations in North America.
Laura Rittenhouse has been hired as general manager for the Champaign property, and Robert said remaining staff is expected to be hired in late October or early November.
Extended-stay motels are designed for guests staying seven or more nights, Robert said. Typical guests include construction workers, auditors and visiting university professors, he added.
Candlewood Suites' guest rooms feature studio or one-bedroom suites with a full kitchen, recliner, workspace and DVD and CD players.
The hotel will offer a free on-site guest laundry, 24-hour fitness center, free local phone calls and a free lending library of movies and music.
Midas Hospitality was established in 2006. Today the company owns six motels and operates five others. The properties are in Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri and Indiana. The two in Illinois are a Hampton Inn in Columbia and a Ramada Inn in Fairview Heights.
Robert said he managed properties for InterContinental Hotels for 10 years before returning to St. Louis and eventually starting Midas Hospitality.
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