Holiday Inn Express and Suites celebrated it’s 10th anniversary on Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

Holiday Inn Express and Suites celebrated its 10th anniversary on Tuesday and manager Kim Jenkins said that the best part has been serving the community.

Jenkins said that they wanted to bring the hotel to the area because they saw a big need.

“We are really the only corporate, indoor corridor hotel in the area,” Jenkins said. “And there was a big need for one of those here. So, we came in June 2009 to provide that service to the community.”

She said that there are several memories over the years that she can’t pick her favorite one.

“There are honestly so many that I could think of,” Jenkins said. “One that sticks in my mind is every year we do a thing called WINGS Ride 2 Rosemary, where we house several cyclist that cycle 525 miles from Germantown, Tenn., to Rosemary Beach, Fla. We are able to help so many people by having this hotel here. Our owners are very good about giving to Babe Ruth and housing veterans that come for Honor Flight.”

Looking back, Jenkins said that the people have been the best thing over the past 10 years.

“All I can think is wow, we have had a lot of good memories,” Jenkins said. “The people are so amazing. All types of people come in here and just the community is absolutely amazing. I live in Monroeville, but I can truly say that Andalusia is home.”

There have been several horrifying hurricanes over the past 10 years that Jenkins said they had to prepare for and were ready for.

“We are actually on the evacuation route,” Jenkins said. “So, we actually have to have training every year since we are 100 miles away from the coast. Several evacuees come here and a lot of the time, they are people that would never come here. People that have never even stayed in a hotel in their life, but they become family once they are here.”

The loyalty of guests is the main thing that is important to Jenkins.

“We have guests that still come to us since the day that we opened 10 years ago,” Jenkins said. “Some even live here from Monday through Friday. We have some from the Shaw expansion that have been here a year. We try to make it as much as home as we can. We want to cater to our customers.”

The one thing that has changed the most over the past 10 years has been the preparedness for traffic, Jenkins said.

“When we first opened, we had no idea what our 331 traffic was going to be,” Jenkins said. “Now we are full every Friday and Saturday night and we are prepared for it. We didn’t realize how huge the demand would be when we first opened, but now we are ready for it every weekend.”

Jenkins said her staff and the ownership of Holiday Inn Express have been phenomenal.

“First off, I want to thank all of the surrounding companies for supporting our hotel,” Jenkins said. “As a general manager I can’t do my job unless my staff does their job and they are phenomenal at their job. We have four original people that opened the hotel 10 years ago and they are still here working. If that doesn’t say something, then I don’t know what does.”