|By Greg Olson, Jacksonville
Journal-Courier, Ill.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 12, 2012--A shuttered South Jacksonville hotel will reopen later this year as a Baymont Inn and Suites.
The three-story, 62-room former Econolodge was purchased by Southwest Hotels LLC of Springfield.
"We are looking at a Dec. 1 opening date right now," said Mihir Tals, a part owner of Southwest Hotels. "The reason we were attracted to this property is because it was built in 2005. The location is great and the business in Jacksonville and South Jacksonville is great. It was unfortunate that a fairly new property like this was sitting unused."
Renovation work is under way at the hotel, according to Tals. "The property is getting a complete facelift," he said. "We are currently installing new carpeting and new furniture and all guest rooms are being repainted."
Tals added that all guest rooms will have a 39-inch, high-definition flat-screen television; a microwave; a refrigerator and free high-speed Internet service. The hotel will also offer a complimentary hot breakfast in the lobby.
During the winter months, Tals said, the hotel will employ between 15 and 18 people and, during the spring and summer, it will have between 20 and 25 employees. Southwest Hotels is taking employment applications and resumes for the Baymont at email@example.com
The hotel at 1914 Southbrooke Road opened in 2005 and has been closed since January 2010. It had been in receivership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Tals declined to say how much Southwest Hotels paid for the property.
Baymont Inn and Suites is a franchisee of Wyndham Worldwide, a corporation that has hotels around the world.
"We are certainly very happy for them to be here, and we are very happy to get the hotel back open," South Jacksonville President Gordon Jumper said. "The proximity to Bartlett Grain should be a good boost to their business and I'm sure that Lenz Field will appreciate that there will be more rooms available. I think Baymont will be a very attractive franchise."
(c)2012 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.)
Visit the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) at www.myjournalcourier.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services