Comfort Suites caters to business guests, leisure travelersHudson’s two business parks didn’t go unnoticed to the owners and managers of the new Comfort Suites hotel on Center Drive next to Carmichael Road. Extended-stay business guests are who the owners had in mind when they invested in and built the hotel.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Hudson’s two business parks didn’t go unnoticed to the owners and managers of the new Comfort Suites hotel on Center Drive next to Carmichael Road.
The 66 spacious single king bed and double queen bed suites were designed specifically with the business traveler in mind.
Each suite has a large work desk, complete with a cable high-speed Internet connection, plus WiFi and an ergonomic office chair.
The suite also has a sleeper sofa, at least one easy chair, a flat-screen, high-definition television, microwave oven and refrigerator.
Each morning, that day’s copy of the Wall Street Journal is delivered to the room. The hotel also has a gym, swimming pool and laundry room.
Blueberry waffles and another hot item are served for breakfast each morning in the large, windowed dining area on the first floor. Cheese omelets, ham patties, sausage, scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy are some of the offerings, along with a daily selection of fresh fruit, pastries, bagels, hard-boiled eggs and cold cereal.
“It changes every day. So if we have a guest who is staying for 10 days, they aren’t going to have the same breakfast every day,” said General Manager Juanita Botten.
Extended-stay business guests are who the owners had in mind when they invested in and built the hotel.
“The Hudson area has a lot of corporate business,” Botten said. “There are two great industrial parks. I believe that’s where our draw for our weekday business is going to be.”
But leisure travelers will find the hotel equally comfortable, she said, and that’s who she expects to make up the majority of weekend guests.
“We have beautiful parks in the area. The river. We have the uniqueness of downtown Hudson. I think that is a huge draw,” Botten said. “And then we’re just a skip and a jump from the Twin Cities area. People can stay here and do day trips into the city.”
The room rates are in the same range as Comfort Suites’ nearby competitors — the Fairfield Inn and Holiday Express Inn, according to Botten.
She is proud of the generous ratings guests have given the Hudson Comfort Suites on the website TripAdvisor, including a perfect five-star rating from a family with seven children.
“Every staff member was friendly and helpful. The breakfast attendant was happy to assist my younger kids with waffles. We travel a lot and have never experienced such a kind gesture,” the reviewer wrote.
Botten said she’s proud of the staff she’s hired to operate the hotel. There are 19 employees, including Botten. She and the night auditor and front-office manager are the only full-time workers, so far.
“When we get busier we will be able to add more hours to our staff. Currently, we are still building our business,” Botten said.
The three-floor hotel opened Dec. 30, 2011. It went through an ownership and management change since construction started in the fall of 2008.
The financial crisis rocked the country shortly after the footings for the building were put in. The project was halted until the new ownership and management groups led by Neil R. Densmore of Verona, a neighboring community of Madison, took over and resumed construction last summer.
Comfort Suites is a franchise of Choice Hotels International. The company also franchises Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn and Econo Lodge hotels.
Botten grew up in Bloomington, Minn., but has spent most of her adult life in Superior. After raising a family, she returned to work in the hotel business, working her way up from housekeeper (as a high-schooler) to general manager.
“I’ve done everything,” she said. “We haven’t had to do it, but if we were short in housekeeping, I’d be up cleaning rooms and making beds – doing what I had to do to get the job done.”
Botten managed an AmericInn hotel at Proctor, Minn., for seven years before coming to Hudson. She previously managed a Comfort Suites hotel at Hayward for Densmore’s management group.