|By Ray Scherer, St. Joseph News-Press,
Mo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June, 2012--St. Joseph's newest hotel, Candlewood Suites, opened its extended-stay suites Thursday morning to a small number of guests.
General Manager Matt Murray said 11 of the hotel's suites were booked at the outset by travelers seeking extended stays, with services beginning at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, staff busied themselves with preparations such as linking a computer network for Candlewood's reservation system.
Mr. Murray said it's taken 12- to 14-hour days to clean rooms and other areas once contractors completed construction. Several personnel from the Candlewood Suites in Jefferson City were on hand to assist with the opening.
"We hired all our front desk (staff) in late April," he said. "I believe we are up and running."
Mr. Murray is a Missouri Western State University graduate who previously worked as assistant manager for Candlewood in Chillicothe.
The hotel has 80 suites and features such as a fitness center, business center, full kitchens in each suite, free guest laundry, a full convenience store-style cupboard, a lending locker for items such as jumper cables and Crock-Pots, and a lending library.
A grand opening, to which the public is invited for free, is set for 10 a.m. June 29, Mr. Murray said.
"We definitely want to get our name out there and let people know we're open," he said.
Candlewood, 3505 Village Drive, opened with a staff of 17 employees, he added. The hotel is owned by Spike Ehrhardt and his sons Stan and Scott, who run a firm that operates six other Candlewood Suites in three states.
Ray Scherer can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPScherer.
(c)2012 St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)
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