Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Extended-Stay Hotel Set to Open in OKC

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Extended-Stay Hotel Set to Open in OKC

Article excerpt

Brad Friend wants his hotel guests to be as comfortable as possible, whether they are staying for one night or one year.

Friend, general manager of the Homewood Suites by Hilton at 6920 W. Reno Ave., is putting the finishing touches on the hotel, set to open next week.

The hotel is the latest of several planned extended-stay properties in the metro area set to open in the next few years.

Extended-stay hotels began to take off in the 1970s with the Residence Inn, which was later acquired by Marriott.

The hotels cater to business travelers who often need a room for longer than just a few nights, and many provide a home-like atmosphere, with kitchens in the rooms and perks for busy travelers.

Friend, a native Oklahoman, moved back home to be the general manger of a hotel after a 15-year career in hotels in Texas and Kansas.

The hotel has 90 suites in a three-story, 72,726-square-foot building.

Friend said the hotel welcomes those who only need a room for the night, but caters to business travelers for long-term stays.

The first Homewood Suites was launched in Omaha, Neb., in 1989. In 2000, the name was changed to Homewood Suites by Hilton. Now the brand counts more than 220 hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

This is the only Oklahoma City Homewood Suites. There is also one in Tulsa.

Rebecca Wyatt, senior vice president of brand management for Homewood, said Oklahoma City was selected because the company saw a need for more extended-stay rooms.

"The extended-stay market is a healthy growing segment of the hotel industry, where demand continues to outweigh supply," she said. "Major cities such as Oklahoma City are one area where Homewood Suites has identified a specific need, given the close proximity of both business and entertainment centers."

The Oklahoma City franchise is owned and managed by Tennessee- based Chartwell Hospitality as CHMK Oklahoma Hotel Partners LLC. …

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