Holiday Inn Express & Suites opened in February 2011, and together, the hotels offer the only guest space for out of towners, visiting baseball teams - and families - and workers during a plant shut-down or turn-around. These are times when the hotels are at their busiest, says General Manager Carlyn Tall, who has been in the hotel industry for over 13 years.
Best Western offers 58 rooms, Holiday Inn Express & Suites 73, both have seasonal swimming pools for guests (from April to Nov.), cardiovascular workout facilities and offer free breakfast bars with hot items, as well as fresh coffee 24/7.
The properties also have business centers featuring printing capabilities, free high-speed WiFi and hardware connectivity.
Best Western features a conference room that seats 50, new flat screen televisions in all the rooms, a newly renovated lobby and serves hot, fresh Otis Spunkmeyer cookies at check-in.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a board room for six people and offers free snacks to Priority Club and new enrollment members.
Currently, BW is doing its part for Mother Earth by reducing its carbon footprint with a cost effective, simple-to-use Recycling Program.
Recycled paper bags were placed in all rooms for guests to easily recycle glass, plastic, aluminum, newspaper, white paper and corrugated cardboard items.
A card with simple instructions is left for the guests, and the program has been a huge success in helping BW go green. The program assists guests with recycling efforts and helps earn the property credit in the Green Key Global certification process. "We hope to initiate the same recycling program at Holiday Inn in the next few weeks," Tall says.
BW also earned three "Green Keys" for Excellence in Environmentally Green Practices when it auctioned off its front lobby furniture last year (instead of disposing of it) and donated the funds raised to the City of Zachary to be used in landscaping and beautification efforts.
Tall says that being in the hotel industry is never a dull moment. "It's never the same day twice," she says, "and the things our staff sees range from the weird to the wild and wacky."
With all the guest services offered at both properties, more could be done in the way of community-wide guest services. "We're the concierge for the city. In the past, I've had a really great working relationship with restaurant managers in other cities. They would initiate and maintain good working relationships with the desk clerks since that's who would tell send the guests to each eatery," Tall said.
Between the two hotels, there are about 131+ people who stay during maximum capacity times, and they're sent to restaurants and other businesses that the hotel staff knows has good service, Tall explained.
"Ideally, we'd like better working relationships with places in Zachary that offer services such as food, drink, entertainment or health/beauty."
Tall says she has many guests that stay for a month at a time that need these types of services. "We're not just selling the rooms, we're selling the City of Zachary, and if they have a bad experience in the area, they won't come back. Guests are going to go where there are a lot of options and a comfortable atmosphere is offered."
Tall said she'd also like to see a hospitality organization start up in Zachary that focuses on the service industry.
The organization would meet with restaurant managers, hotel managers, coaches, ball park personnel, and all would plan for upcoming tournaments or festivals so that each business would be well-staffed, well-stocked and well-prepared for the influx of people during peak events.
If anyone would like to schedule a property tour of Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 4047 Hwy. 19, contact Carlyn Tall at 225-654-1402 or e-mail email@example.com. Tall's extension is 196.
For a property tour of Best Western Zachary Inn, 4030 Hwy. 19, contact Steve Ward at 225-658-2550 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Ward's direct extension is 190.