|By Aniesa Holmes, The Daily News,
Jacksonville, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 04, 2010--One of the largest names in the hotel industry is opening its first Jacksonville location.
Home2 Suites by Hilton, a new extended-stay hotel brand, is set to build its fourth U.S. location in Jacksonville, which will be the city's first Hilton Worldwide local property. Home2 Suites is scheduled for completion at 139 Circuit Lane, behind the former Circuit City on Western Boulevard, in May. The property -- a 105-suite, four-story, extended-stay hotel -- is owned by Onslow Hospitality, Inc. and will be managed by C.N. Hotels, Inc., headquartered in Greensboro.
"It's very exciting to build our brand in Jacksonville," said Bill Duncan, global head for Home2 Suites by Hilton. "We've gotten responses that people are excited and that it's an innovative brand that is in communities that are positioning themselves as being innovative."
Duncan and Sunil Patel, executive vice president of C.N. Hotels, Inc., recently joined Mayor Sammy Phillips and Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce President Mona Padrick in celebrating the new location with a groundbreaking ceremony and the planting of a maple tree in dedication to the families of the Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune.
"We're very excited about the Hilton brand coming to our community," Padrick said. "This will be a plus for us as our tourism is a large provider of the economic impact. Our hotel rooms are many times in short supply here, so the addition of another hotel is much needed."
The hotel features The Oasis, a community space that includes communal and individual work zones, wireless access and a 52" flat-screen TV. Other amenities include an indoor saline pool, an integrated guest laundry and fitness room and meeting and social gathering spaces. Padrick said the hotel's design will meet the needs of many visitors who travel to the area for business or pleasure.
"We have people who come for medical personnel services to work for an extended of time but not long enough to rent an apartment," she said. "Another group of people who use the suites are family members of our military folks, especially if they have cooking facilities in their home space. Mom can come in and cook a meal that the military personnel hasn't had in a while -- it's a more family oriented atmosphere that's attracted a lot of people."
Guest rooms will include separate living and bedroom zones and a fully accessorized kitchen. The living area will have a queen-size sofa/sleeper, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, roll-around ottoman, and a flexible working space with a moveable desk.
Home2Suites, which was launched in January of 2009, now has several expected locations in close proximity to military bases: The first, in Fayetteville, is scheduled to open in December. Other locations include San Antonio, Portland, Salt Lake City and Dallas.
"One of the reasons why Jacksonville was chosen was because of Camp Lejeune and the fact that military personnel are highly desirable for the extended stay projects because they have so many travelers who stay 10 or more consecutive nights," Duncan said.
Duncan said that another great advantage of Home2Suites is the potential increase of travelers to an area with a quality hotel presence, which will in turn bring more customers to the area's local businesses.
"It's a win-win for Jacksonville, and a win-win C.N Hotels and for Hilton Worldwide by building in another city," Duncan said.
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Copyright (c) 2010, The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.
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