As Omaha continues to expand westward, it makes sense to ensure the hospitality industry grows there, as well.
The Hilton hotel chain appears to be taking the lead in that area with a second hotel along the West Dodge corridor. Home 2 Suites will join the existing Hilton Garden Inn near the Village Pointe shopping center at 180th and Dodge streets.
We participated in a hard hat tour of the new Home 2 Suites Omaha recently. The extended-stay hotel is anticipating a mid-August opening, but that is based on construction completing on time.
The Omaha property will be the first for the chain in Nebraska. It’s the 35th property for the brand in the United States.
The hotel – along with the Hilton Garden Inn – is owned by Kinseth Hospitality, based in North Liberty, Iowa. The company owns or franchises more than 90 hotels and restaurants in 12 states, mostly in the Midwest (Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
We checked out rooms on the fourth floor, which are close to completion. The rooms feature wifi, microwave, a flat screen TV and a Keurig coffee maker. I personally liked the sofa, where people can sit back and put their feet up after a long day in meetings or appointments. It was one of my favorite things about the hotel I stayed at in Texarkana, Texas, during a business trip. It has a relaxing feel about it.
The hotel will feature a saline-based swimming pool. There will be no chemicals in the pool water.
The hotel is designed to be eco-friendly, including using items made from recycled goods. The corporate requirement calls for 65% of construction material to be from recycled products.
The hotel will offer complimentary breakfast. The meal will be served in a “community” environment. There will be a long table with chairs, where people can get to know others during their stay.
A major feature for the hotel is “Free to be You,” said Nicky Chipps, Director of Sales. The hotel wants guests to feel at home, since many people will be there for several days or weeks. The goal of “Free to be You” is that the hotel is wired and geared for guests – treat the hotel like your home. Kick back and take it easy during your stay. Be yourself.
Another plus about the hotel is its 100% pet friendly. Rooms are set aside for guests bringing their family dog or cat. Areas will be set aside outside for those special dog services, Nicky said.
The hotel’s primary guest focus will be business travelers and families visiting area hospitals. However, the hotel welcomes all guests. I can see the hotel getting stays from people who will be shopping at Village Pointe. It’s a good spot for a weekend getaway, too. You’re near the city, but don’t have to stay inside the city, if you don’t want. My estimate is downtown Omaha is about 15-20 minute drive down Dodge Street.
Small group meetings (fewer than 100 people) can be conducted at the hotel.
Construction started on the hotel in May 2013. Pre-bookings has started for arrival after September 21st, said DJ Miller, the general manager.
In addition to wanting to provide guests a positive experience, Home 2 Suites also has a community outreach program – “Your two hands.” Employees volunteer time with civic organizations. The Omaha staff is working with the Hope Center for kids. The volunteers work with children, including tutoring.
Our tour actually started at the Hilton Garden Inn. The hotels are across the street from each other.
Following a reception for bloggers and businesses attending the tour, we checked out a couple of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn. Very nice, I must say.
Thanks to the hotel leadership and staff for a great time with the reception and the tour.
For more information on these hotels and the Kinseth brand, please check out their websites at:
Kinseth Hospitality Companies: http://www.kinseth.com/