Ready for guests

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Guests who visit Covington County now have one more option for where to spend the night, as the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Andalusia opens today.

Hotel manager Kim Jenkins said the new hotel offers a variety of amenities for its customers, including a free hot breakfast every morning.

“Every room has a 32-inch flat screen HDTV, and we’ll have hot Otis Spunkmeyer cookies available at check-in,” she said. “We’ve got a swimming pool and a fitness center, and we’ve also got a business center that features two computers, a fax machine and copier.”

The hotel has 68 rooms, including 16 suites. Eight of the rooms are handicapped-accessible. The hotel also features a conference room that seats 75 people.

“All of the rooms are accessible from an inside corridor, and we’ve also got an elevator,” Jenkins added.

Jenkins said the hotel will employ between 20 and 25 people, and that every effort was made to buy locally produced goods whenever possible.

“There are certain items that we get directly from corporate,” she said. “But everything else that we needed to buy for the hotel, we tried to get locally. For example, most of our appliances come from Sears here in town, and my office furniture came from Walker Business.”

The hotel is owned by Omni of Andalusia, LLC, and work first began on the building’s construction in November 2008.

“The staff has been working so hard 24/7 to make sure we can open (today),” Jenkins said. “Everyone has helped make this happen, but I’d especially like to thank our contractor, Matthew Ahern, and Luke Henderson and Kyle Bowness. They’ve really helped make this place come together.”

Jenkins said there could be no better compliment from a guest than to hear that the visitor had “an excellent experience.”

“Not a good experience, an excellent experience,” she said. “That’s what we are striving for every time. Customer service will be the difference, and I know that we’ll always have great customer service.”

The hotel is located at 6727 U.S. Hwy. 84, just east of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter. For reservations to the Andalusia Holiday Inn Express and Suites, call 1-800-HOLIDAY.