Chain Adds To Area Lodging Stock

March 26, 2004
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HOLLAND — A new $3 million Microtel Inn & Suites going up in Holland adds to the properties that target the low-cost travel market.

The 83-room, three-story motel is scheduled to open in late May, introducing the Atlanta-based Microtel chain to the market.

The structure will lie immediately west of U.S. 31 near 32nd street.

Real estate developer Richard Kolk, of Deltrek Inc. in Manistee, told the Business Journal he's wanted to build in the Holland area for some time.

He saw an opening within the budget segment in the market, a niche that leisure and business travelers would continue to use during the down periods in the travel industry like that experienced in the last three years, Kolk said.

"In bad times, the budget properties feel it the least," said Kolk, who also co-owns an award-winning Microtel Inn & Suites in Manistee.

Microtel's rates run $49 a night for single occupancy, $59 for double and $89 for a suite.

That includes free local calls and free high-speed Internet access.

Kolk and his partner, Stephen Loomis, also own and operate an 83-room Microtel Inn & Suites in Manistee, down the road from the Little River Casino Resort.

The three-year-old property in February was named Microtel's Franchisee of the Year for 2003. The award came from its parent company, U.S. Franchise Systems Inc., in recognition of recording a 70 percent occupancy rate and 98.9 percent revenue per available room.

"The forethought put into the development of this hotel and their attention to detail, leadership and commitment to their guests serves as a model for all our franchisees," said Jon Leven, senior vice president of marketing for USFS Inc.

The new Holland property will become the fifth Microtel Inn & Suites in Michigan.

USFS presently has 274 Microtel properties nationwide.

Kolk said he owns the franchise rights to develop a Microtel Inn & Suites in Grandville. He has plans to develop additional motel properties across Michigan and northern Indiana and northern Ohio and wants to secure Microtel franchise rights "for a pretty good part of the mix."

The Microtel development in Holland is the latest addition to the lodging market since a major buildup in hotel and motel rooms began in the 1990s.

After a period that lacked any new lodging development, the Holland-area market has grown from 727 rooms in 1997 to 1,275 rooms in 2003, according to the Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Included in that inventory are five properties that fit into the budget segment that have a collective 352 rooms.

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