The newest member of the growing group of hotels in the Flathead Valley, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, opened its doors last week in Whitefish. The property had been under construction since last fall.
The 81-room hotel on U.S. 93 South is focused on a specific set of clients: those who are staying five days or longer, said general manager Lisa Brown. The hotel hopes to cultivate its appeal with extended-stay customers by supplying amenities like kitchenettes and larger closets.
“We have the amenities to make a guest comfortable long term,” Brown said. “The sole purpose of this property is extended stay.”
Brown said the hotel’s ownership group, Scottsdale, Arizona-based Glacier House, believed there was ample space in the Flathead market for another extended-stay lodge. The Marriott joins other prominent extended-stay hotels, including Homewood Suites by Hilton and Glacier Ridge Suites, both in Kalispell.
The Marriott touts a price plan that benefits extended stays, Brown said, with a reduced rate for longer stays.
“Our target market is five days or more,” Brown said.
Brown said the hotel isn’t going after exclusively business travelers or vacationers, but rather defining the target audience by length of stay. Most suites are more spacious than typical hotel rooms, so the hotel could appeal to families, as well as couples or solo travelers.
The hotel has traditional studios with the option of one king bed or two queens, along with one-bedroom suites with a king bed and pullout couch.
The hotel features an outdoor pool for use during the summer months, and an indoor fitness center. A statue of a 15-foot-tall white fish is on display at the entrance. Each property in the TownePlace Suites chain has a piece of art unique to the property, Brown noted.
A hotel shuttle services downtown Whitefish and Glacier Park International Airport. Brown said the projected future growth of the airport bodes well for the hotel’s future.
Brown and her team have spent the last couple weeks adding the finishing touches to the space and training the hotel’s 15 staff members.
Reservations can be made up to a year in advance, something Brown said people were already taking advantage of.
“We’re seeing reservations all the way to the end of the year,” Brown said.
Brown came to the Marriott team after more than a decade managing the event center at the Red Lion Inn in Kalispell. She said moving to a new hotel gave her a chance to grow and learn a new role.
“This was a great opportunity to open a property,” she said. “I’ve never done that before in my career.”
The new Marriott brings the total number of hotel rooms in the Flathead Valley to 3,512, according to data from the Kalispell Convention and Visitor Bureau. According to their records, 328 rooms were added in 2016, but no new properties opened in 2017. The Marriott is the second hotel to open in the valley in 2018, following the 100-room Country Inn & Suites near Glacier Park International Airport.
The new hotel is located at 300 Akers Lane in Whitefish. More information can be found at www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/fcats-towneplace-suites-whitefish/.
Reporter Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.