Business & Finance

McNeill Hotel Company Breaks Ground on Homewood Suites in Athens, Georgia

ATHENS, GA. March 1, 2017 – McNeill Hotel Company held official groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel in Athens, Georgia. McNeill is building the all-suite property.

Scheduled to open in Spring of 2018, the Homewood Suites – Athens is located at the edge of “The Mark”, a mixed-use development now under construction on nine acres between East Broad and Oconee streets on the eastern edge of downtown Athens. The hotel will have 130 guest room suites featuring spacious one and two bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and a separate living room area. Guests will enjoy extra comforts like free Wi-Fi, online check in and room selection, guest laundry room, pet friendly, and free grocery shopping service. A complimentary hot breakfast is served each morning and on Monday through Thursday guests will enjoy the complimentary evening social gathering.

Based in Germantown, Tennessee, McNeill Hotel Company currently also owns and operates the Hilton-branded Hampton Inn Athens, located on West Broad Street. In total, the company operates 14 hotels across the Southeast, including other Hampton Inns, and the Marriott-branded Fairfield Inn & Suites, Towne Place Suites, Courtyard and Residence Inns.

“When we were approached about developing a hotel as a part of the overall project, we immediately thought the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand would be a perfect fit,” said Mark Ricketts, President and COO of the McNeil Hotel Company. “It provides the city of Athens with an upscale, extended stay product that was currently lacking in the market. The location is first class with its proximity to Downtown, the Classic Center, the University and Sanford Stadium. Its unique design and layout will provide the guest with a completely unique hotel experience.”

Ricketts also added the Homewood Suites Athens will have upgraded guest amenities such as expanded exercise room, huge outdoor seating area with grills and fire pit, 1,000 square feet of meeting space, media room with billiard table and bar area.

About McNeill Hotel Company

Headquartered in Germantown, Tennessee, McNeill Hotel Company focuses on select service hotels with a growth strategy based on a mix of new hotel development, meaningful acquisitions and third party management agreements. The company is an approved franchisee for both Marriott and Hilton. Phillip McNeill, Jr and Mark Ricketts, the company's principals, are 2nd generation hoteliers with over 60 years of combined experience in the hotel industry, encompassing nearly every discipline of the business.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability
The hotel industry continues to make remarkable progress in implementing sustainability policies and procedures in their properties throughout the world. As a result, they continue to reap the benefits of increased profitability, enhanced guest experiences, and improved community relations. In addition, as industry standards are codified and adopted worldwide, hotels can now compare how their operations measure up against their competitors in terms of sustainable practices and accomplishments. This capacity to publicly compare and contrast is spurring competition and driving innovation as hotels do not wish to be left behind in this area. Water management and conservation is still a primary issue as population growth, urbanization, pollution and wasteful consumption patterns place increasing demands on freshwater supply. Water recycling; installing low-flow fixtures; using digital sensors to control water usage; and even harvesting rainwater are just a few things that some hotels are doing to preserve this precious resource. Waste management is another major concern. Through policies of reduce, reuse and recycle, some hotels are implementing “zero-waste” programs with the goal of substantially reducing their landfill waste which produces carbon dioxide and methane gases. Other hotels have established comprehensive training programs that reinforce the value of sustainability. There is employee engagement through posters and quizzes, and even contests are held to increase innovation, sensitivity and environmental awareness. Some hotels are also monitoring a guest’s energy usage and rewarding those who consumed less energy with gifts and incentives. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating eco-friendly practices into their operations and how they and the environment are benefiting from them.