According to Chad Moore of Beacon Hospitality, the new Microtel on Coastal Highway near Grotto’s will begin taking reservations within the next two weeks in anticipation of the building completion at the end of March. Moore stated that the Milford location will be the third of a new prototype in the Microtel chain.
“Microtel began as an economy chain, owned by Hilton,” Moore said. “Wyndham purchased the properties and has operated them ever since. Beacon Hospitality looked at putting a Holiday Inn Express in Georgetown but when we did our research, we found it would cost 35 to 40 percent more than the Microtel. I knew that it would be difficult to charge 35 to 40 percent more in the Georgetown market, so we decided to go with Microtel.”
Microtel has received the “Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Economy/Budget Hotel Chains for 14 out of 15 Years” from J.D. Power. The chain received high scores in check-in/check-out, guest rooms, hotel services, hotel facilities as well as cost and fees. In addition, the Georgetown location has been named Microtel of the Year twice and Wyndham Hotel of the Year once.
“The Wyndham awards are numbers based, “ Moore said. “That means there is no way to “stuff the ballot box.” Microtel takes advantage of its smaller size by using every available space. In some hotels, hallways are eight feet wide but in a Microtel they are only five-and-a-half-feet wide, yet you don’t notice the narrower space because of its design. In the Milford location, we have placed king rooms in the corners with a queen room on each side. There is a connecting door inside the room which can be kept open while the outside door can remain locked, giving guests a two-room suite which is perfect for couples or families traveling together.”
Moore explained that Beacon Hospitality, which owned the Bellmoor Inn in Rehoboth before it was sold last year to EOS Investors, liked the fact that Wyndham offered flexibility when it came to the amenities offered at each hotel.
“We could have a pool or not, we could add conference rooms or not,” Moore said. “This allows us to focus on a higher level of service. With the Bellmoor, we knew we were not on the ocean, so we needed to offer outstanding service to keep people there. Even though Microtel is an economy hotel, we offer five-star service.”
Outstanding service is important to Moore and the rest of Beacon Hospitality. The new hotel will have two conference rooms that will be available to the community. At other locations, Moore explained they have offered English as a Second Language classes, provided space to plan community events, including the Heart Ball for the American Heart Association and are working with KSI who may use the rooms for training. There will also be an outdoor pool, firepits and a picnic area.
“We know if we put in an outdoor pool or offer upgraded breakfast, that gives shows guests that we are offering better service,” he explained. “In addition, when you call a Hampton or other chain hotel to make a reservation, they often transfer you to the home office which knows nothing about that particular property. At Microtel, when you call to make a reservation, we make it right there on property. That means if you need adjoining rooms, you will get them and not be told that we will “put in that request.” Too often, those requests are not fulfilled, and you arrive to find out you do not have adjoining rooms. My wife and I have four kids, so we often need adjoining rooms. Imagine telling a mama bear she is going to be separated from her cubs.”
Beacon decided to build in Milford in order to address a need in a different, diverse market. Moore explained that with the opening of DE Turf and the new Bayhealth campus along with businesses that need accommodations for overnight guests. Moore, who grew up in Milford and whose grandfather owned Webster Furniture, began looking at Milford for a new hotel.
“We were getting inquiries in Georgetown for DE Turf,” Moore said. “We would fill up in Georgetown with Sports at the Beach. We found the land on Coastal Highway and I met with Dennis Silicato who was amazing to work with. It could not have been an easier, simpler deal. There was talk of a brewpub going in next door, but that does not appear to be happening. However, we do have Grotto’s next door and I expect more businesses will be added soon to accommodate the new hospital.”
The pandemic has delayed construction of the hotel, but Moore believes the building should be turned over to them in late March. Once that happens, Wyndham will conduct training before the doors officially open.
“Our General Manager, Alex Burris, has worked in Georgetown and the Bellmoor, so there is no ramp up period for him,” Moore said. “That makes things easier. We hope to do a grand opening celebration, but we want to be sure we are responsible about it. With the pandemic, we want to make sure whatever we choose to do, it is safe for everyone. Because this is only the third of its kind in the Microtel chain, Milford will receive some press and will be featured in several social media campaigns as well.”