Holiday Inn Express ranked nationally for service

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Andalusia’s Holiday Inn Express just celebrated its fifth anniversary with some pretty high accolades.

The facility ranks No. 24 in the country among all locations of Holiday Inn Express for guest satisfaction. The ranking is based on guest surveys and inspections.

Most high-ranking hotels are in metropolitan cities, local manager Kim Jenkins said.

The local Holiday Inn Express employs 19 people, six of whom have worked there since the day it opened. Its occupancy rank averages from the 70s to 80s, Jenkins said, and the local hotel is sold out several nights per week. Generally, the occupancy rate in rural facilities is 50 percent.

There are several people who literally live in the hotel, Jenkins said.

Recently, she received an email from someone who made an unplanned overnight stop. The man was a biker who drove farther north than planned to avoid thunderstorms. When he checked in, he mentioned that he hadn’t planned to stay, and that he had relatives in Andalusia whom he had not seen since 1983. Within moments, Zack Maio, who was on duty at the front desk, had put together a toothbrush and razor, found a covered spot for the visitor to park his Harley, and found the phone numbers of the relatives. As a result, the man spent the next day visiting relatives he had not seen in 30 years.

“It all goes back to customer service,” she said.