Home2 Suites by Hilton officially commemorated the opening of the brand’s first hotel with a ribbon cutting ceremony on March 15, 2011 and an announcement of a charitable community relations initiative.
The first Home2 Suites, located in Fayetteville, NC, welcomed representatives from the local community as well as executives from Hilton Worldwide, including President and CEO Chris Nassetta, to celebrate the opening of the first property for the newly developed extended-stay concept. Nassetta joined executives from the Home2 Suites brand management team, developer LBA Properties, owner Apple REIT and local dignitaries for the ribbon cutting ceremony and reception.
As a signature element of the grand opening of the hotel, Home2 Suites announced a charitable gift to Fisher House, a local nonprofit that provides a “home away from home” for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Home2 Suites is updating all guest rooms at Fisher House with new bed frames, box springs and mattresses, as well as new bedding, blankets, iHome clock radios, bath towels, bath mats, wash cloths, and a variety of toiletry items - a truckload of items valued at approximately $20,000.
Through a brand-wide community outreach program called Your2 Hands, Home2 Suites has made a commitment to give back to the neighborhoods where it puts down roots. Hotel team members join forces through on-site events to make a difference in ways that reach far outside hotel walls, engaging members of the community and guests, to make the biggest impact possible.
LBA Hospitality joined in, and as part of their LBA C.A.R.E.S. community service program, presented a check for $2,000 to Fisher House. The Hilton Worldwide brand management team will visit Fisher House on Wednesday to assist in unloading the supplies. Moving company Two Men and A Truck donated its services to deliver the donated goods.
Since the program began in 1990, Fisher House has offered more than three million days of lodging to more than 120,000 families. The nonprofit depends on funding and support through volunteers and donations.
“At Home2 Suites, we believe it’s a priority to give back to the communities in which we put down roots,” said Bill Duncan, global head, Home2 Suites. “The Your2 Hands program provides a way for us to partner with our local ownership groups to identify and support nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in their communities. Fisher House is making a difference every day in the lives of these servicemen and women and their families, so it’s an honor for us to do what we can to support this worthy endeavor.”
“This donation will mean a lot to the guests who come to stay at Fisher House in need of comfort and support.” said Paula Gallero, house manager for Fisher House. “These brave individuals have given so much to our country, and this gift will help them rest and feel at ease in a home-like environment while they take the time to recover. We are honored to accept this generous act of kindness from Home2 Suites by Hilton and LBA.”
The brand’s approach to extended-stay travel emphasizes comfort and flexibility, easy access to technology, community space and a unique design. Research shows that guests in extended-stay situations seek community and connection with others after several days, even if it means they are all singularly working among others in a common space. Based on that research, Home2 Suites properties feature an open lobby area with approximately 4,200 square feet of space called the Oasis.
The Oasis is an industry-leading expanded community space that includes communal and individual work zones, wireless access, a 52-inch flat-screen TV and a complimentary breakfast service area that provides one of the most expansive continental breakfasts in this segment of the hospitality industry. The “Inspired Table” breakfast offers a wide variety of continental and customizable breakfast options, including select hot items. The assortment of food options, which includes breads, pastries, hot and cold cereals, and unique toppings, is such that a guest could have a different breakfast each day for 70 days without repeating. The Oasis encourages a social environment where guests can obtain information on the local area, check e-mail and connect with others and, because of its size and offerings, is unique in the extended-stay category.
All standard guest suites include the proprietary Home2 Suites “working wall” that incorporates the kitchen and flexible working space connecting separate living and bedroom zones. A fully accessorized kitchen contains a refrigerator/freezer with icemaker, dishwasher, place settings for six, microwave oven and coffee maker. The media/working zone includes a queen size sofa/sleeper, 42-inch flat-screen TV, roll-around ottoman, ambient task lighting, iHome alarm clock with iPod port and MP3 jack, and various pieces of furniture which can be moved around to create customized living spaces and adjustable storage options. Other highlights of the Home2 Suites brand are the Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items, an integrated guest laundry and fitness room, a saline pool, patios with grills, outdoor seating areas and an exercise trail.
The Home2 Suites brand is committed to environmentally conscious practices. In addition to recycling throughout the hotel, appointments include low-flow showers and faucets, biodegradable food trays, compact fluorescent light bulbs, dual flush toilets, recycled flooring, Energy Star appliances, carpet and surfaces made from recycled product and other sustainable product selections. Home2 Suites is also rolling out Hilton’s proprietary LightStay system, which measures energy and water use and waste and carbon output at Hilton Worldwide properties around the globe.