Homewood Suites by Hilton(R), the international brand of all-suite, residential-style hotels, today announced the opening of its landmark 250th hotel property in the northern Decatur suburb of Forsyth, Illinois. This marks the 32nd hotel opening for 2008, putting the brand on track to open nearly 50 hotels this year. While other segments of the hotel industry have experienced dramatic declines in occupancy and rate, Homewood Suites continues to enjoy solid numbers in the upscale extended-stay category and has the strongest development pipeline in the brand's 20 year history.
'This 250th opening is a proud milestone for Homewood Suites in that it increases our distribution, expands our family of owners, and demonstrates our commitment to growing the brand,' said Rebecca Wyatt, Senior Vice President, Brand Management. 'For our guests, we offer a tremendous amount of value with large suites and bundled amenities such as daily hot breakfast, evening receptions, fitness facilities, and complimentary internet service.'
The brand's 250th property is an 82-suite hotel owned by Forsyth Hospitality, LLC, managed by Horve Hospitality Management, Inc. and overseen by General Manager James Dietz. Located at 333 West Marion Avenue, Homewood Suites Decatur-Forsyth is just five miles from downtown Decatur, and a mile from historic Forsyth. Major nearby businesses include Archer Daniels Midland, Caterpillar, Mueller, and Decatur Memorial Hospital. The hotel is near many shopping, dining and recreational options including the Hickory Point Mall, Rock Springs Nature Center, Lake Decatur, and Hickory Point Golf Course.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Decatur-Forsyth offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites. Additional guest amenities include a daily complimentary Suite Start(R) hot breakfast in the hotel's hospitality center-the 'Lodge'-a Welcome Home(R) reception featuring a complimentary light meal and beverages Monday-Thursday evenings, an executive business center, and a 24-hour on-site pantry. The hotel also offers a swimming pool, sports court, outdoor grills, fire pit, and more than 1,000 square feet of meeting space, dividable into two rooms.
Guests have an additional reason to feel good staying at Homewood Suites by Hilton Decatur-Forsyth because the hotel proudly offers an earth-friendly approach to how they do business. A recycling and waste minimization program is in place along with Energy Star appliances, programmable thermostats, energy efficient lighting, water-saving faucets, and a linen and towel re-use program for guests who stay more than one night. In addition, the hotel provides four bicycles to guests who would like to bike the surrounding pathways around the Village of Forsyth.
Homewood Suites continues to lead the hotel industry as an innovative brand. In the previous year, it launched a Web-based Suite Selection tool which allows guests to view a specific hotel floorplan, the suites available, choose the exact location of a requested suite, and check-in online before arriving. In 2007, the brand launched a Mobile Learning training program utilizing video iPods(R), allowing team member skill enhancement to more than 6,000 property-level employees. Homewood Suites has also introduced a children's book series based on its mascot, Lewis the Duck. The series takes a unique approach in explaining business travel to children, helping to answer commonly-asked questions in an easy-to-understand manner.
Homewood Suites continually garners high scores in guest satisfaction. Earlier this year, the brand was awarded 'Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Extended Stay Hotel Chains' in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM. Marking the eighth year that J.D. Power and Associates has recognized extended-stay hotels as a market segment in its annual study, this is the sixth time that Homewood Suites has been awarded the honor, outranking other extended stay brands included in the study. This award win is one of many for the brand in the previous year, including placing number one in the Upscale Extended Stay Hotel category in Business Travel News' 2008 hotels rankings by corporate travel buyers, number one in the Market Metrix Hospitality Index for every quarter of 2007, 'Best Bang for the Buck' in the 2007 Zagat Survey, and the 'Extra Mile' Award for the brand's Suite Selection reservation tool by Budget Travel magazine.
Launched in 1989, the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand today has more than 27,000 suites in 250 hotels and approximately 140 properties in the development pipeline. The brand offers complimentary high-speed internet access, daily Suite Start(R) hot breakfast, and a Welcome Home(R) reception featuring a light meal and beverages, Monday through Thursday. Beyond its spacious suites and home-like amenities, Homewood Suites guests can find at each hotel an on-site Suite Shop(R) convenience store, exercise facility and guest laundry at most locations. Additional guest services include a complimentary grocery shopping service1 and a complete business center at most locations.
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