Groundbreaking to be held for new hotel Wednesday

Published 8:39 pm Friday, December 15, 2017

A new hotel will open near Great Wolf Lodge around the summer of 2018.

The hotel, a Home2Suites by Hilton, will be owned and operated by Practicing Hospitality Daily (PHD) Hotels in Opelika. The company already owns Home2Suites locations in Decatur, Alabama and Opelika, Alabama. Another PHD-owned Home2Suites will soon be under construction in Madison, Alabama as well.

The hotel will include 89-rooms and will be four stories tall and will be set up like other Home2Suites. The amenities include a small kitchen in each room, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and a small meeting room for guest use.

“We think the Great Wolf Lodge development is great, and we want to put a typical franchise hotel in there,” said Tom Hunt, CEO of PHD hotels.

The hotel will be located in the 500-acre property Atlanta-based Selig Enterprises is currently developing near Great Wolf, which will open May 31. Hunt said that area off of Whitesville Road was the perfect location for this new hotel.

“Our main customer, our bread and butter for our hotels in general, are a corporate client, and we’ll be right there next to the industrial park in LaGrange that is pretty strong now,” Hunt said. “We are really a corporate hotel, but even a corporate traveler likes to be in a spot where there are things around when they are staying there. With the shopping center and Great Wolf Lodge will come restaurants and a nice area to walk around and get something to eat and that sort of thing.”

He said being on the I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Montgomery made the location an easy choice.

“You put the Great Wolf Lodge there and it’s going to be a destination spot, 45 minutes to an hour from the Atlanta airport,” Hunt said. “That’s a great spot, so to be that close to home to operate and look after it, we just think that’s a super growing area. LaGrange has always been a neat place, and it’s gone up and down over the years, but we think right now the future is very bright.”

Hunt’s company has worked on more than 20 hotel projects in the past, with the majority of those being sold to other companies over the years.

Hunt said the Home2Suites in LaGrange will open in late summer or early fall. The groundbreaking will be held Wednesday. The hotel will employ about 25 people, with some of those being part-time.