The Times West Virginian

Business

March 23, 2014

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham opens doors

FAIRMONT — The team of the new Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham is glad to be in Fairmont.

The hotel, located at 20 Southland Drive next to the Middletown Mall, officially opened its doors on Friday, March 21. That afternoon, the management team and staff welcomed members of the public to tour the new facility and enjoy lunch during an open house.

People are already making reservations to stay at the hotel. A formal grand opening celebration is being planned for around June.

“This has been a project that we have been working on for about four years,” Gary Wilfong, who owns the hotel with his wife Suzanne, said via phone prior to the opening. “(We’re) definitely excited to bring it to Marion County.”

This is the second Microtel Inn & Suites location for the owners, who live in Fairmont. They opened their first hotel in Morgantown seven years ago.

Gary likes that they have been able to bring a new business to Marion County, and said the hotel will create 30 to 40 jobs.

He knew that someday he wanted to open a hotel in his hometown. He really wanted to find a spot in the White Hall area near the Middletown Mall and waited around for the right opportunity to buy some property there. Finally, all the pieces fell into place.

Norco Construction, out of Summersville, began building the Fairmont hotel in the summer of last year. Sky Hospitality, based out of St. Petersburg, Fla., manages and operates both the Fairmont and Morgantown properties. Norco Construction and Sky Hospitality have both been incredible partners, Gary said.

“We are so happy to be part of the Fairmont area,” said Gregg Morton, senior vice president of operations for Sky Hospitality. “The community has been so supportive and anxious for us to open.”

Sky Hospitality creates a team culture, and it’s nature is to focus on running a very efficient business, Morton said.

Gary explained that visitors can generally stay at Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham at a cheaper price than the upper-level hotels, but they still get the same amenities.

“The Microtel brand, it’s called a budget brand, but the thing that I like about it is it’s a hotel chain that really gives you the experience of a full-service hotel without the price,” he said.

At Microtel Inn & Suites, customers can take advantage of free WiFi, a full breakfast, a fitness room, a conference room and a business center. Plus, the hotel offers free fresh-baked cookies and soup in the evening.

“We offer a little bit more than a limited-budget hotel typically will do,” Gary said. “The rooms also have a lot of the amenities that some hotels don’t offer.”

Each of the 62 rooms features a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer, and iron and ironing board. The hotel has a combination of rooms with single and double beds and also has some suites, which include a living room area.

“It’s really a good bargain for what you get,” Gary said.

Jordan Stover, assistant general manager for the Fairmont hotel, commented that people are often surprised to see how nice Microtel Inn & Suites really is.

Jessica Hample, assistant general manager for the Morgantown Microtel Inn & Suites, said it’s always exciting seeing the birth of a new business.

“The community’s probably as excited as we are,” Hample said of the Fairmont hotel.

She believes the hotel has a really nice location, with restaurants and shopping nearby. Plus, the business will be able to serve people who are visiting loved ones at Fairmont State University.

Gary’s wife Suzanne is originally from Fairmont. Gary was raised in Clarksburg, but moved to Fairmont in his early 20s after getting married and has remained there ever since.

Gary said that his parents, Bill Wilfong and the late Jean Wilfong, taught him the right way to treat people and provided invaluable guidance as he was growing up.

“My dad and my mother were both very inspirational in my upbringing,” he said.

During the future grand opening, the hotel will be dedicated to Jean, who passed away from cancer several years ago. The hotel’s lobby will feature a framed picture of her as a memorial.

Gary encouraged people who are traveling into the area to give Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham a try. He believes that after seeing how nice the hotel is, customers will definitely want to come stay again.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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