Hampton Inn unveils fresh look

ABOVE: Jay Junker and Jason Subbert, managers of the Hampton Inn in Fairmont, stand inside the hotel’s newly renovated lobby/breakfast area.

FAIRMONT– The Hampton Inn in Fairmont is close to wrapping up a remodel project that has freshened up the interior of the 15-year-old hotel. The building, which is located off of Highway 15 at 100 Hampton Drive, is a popular spot to stay for guests to the community.

The Hampton Inn is a Hilton Worldwide property but Fairmont’s location is managed by Jay Junker. He said this remodel is the most significant work the hotel has seen in its 15 years. Work began in January and wrapped up for the most part in March; however, they are still waiting for some items. A ribbon cutting with the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors took place this week though so that they could see the transformed space.

“We got all new furniture in the rooms– case goods and soft goods– so all the carpet, flooring, beds and window treatments got replaced. The bathroom walls were redone,” Junker said.

There are 51 rooms in the hotel and they were all upgraded from 32-inch TVs to 55-inch flatscreens. All rooms also now have both microwaves and mini fridges.

Communal spaces were also updated. The pool room got a new paint job and the fitness center received all new equipment, flooring and other features.

A “sweet shop” was added which sells toiletries and dry goods, as well as refrigerated food and drink items.

“We’ll feature some Martin County products, like T-shirts, that are locally sourced,” Junker said.

As part of the remodel the meeting room was also redone and Junker explained that the room is used for many different purposes. He said that small family gatherings are sometimes held there as family comes together for a funeral, wedding or other celebration. Sometimes court depositions will take place in them as well.

The room also serves as a space for breakfast overflow. And on that note, the breakfast area was also redone in the remodel project.

“The breakfast seating area, which is in the lobby, was redone,” Junker said.

Beginning in the fall, the breakfast serving area will have work done to it, as will several other areas of the hotel.

Jason Subbert, who is general manger of both the Best Western and Hampton Inn, said that the hotels will now enter their busy season which is why further work on the Hampton Inn will pause until the fall.

“We don’t want to tear the lobby apart… all of the flooring will be replaced but we’re not doing that until after the busy season,” Subbert said.

While the hotel sees a healthy amount of people come through year round from corporate guests, which is its core demographic, and visitors in the area for sporting events, the summer is traditionally its busiest time.

“We get wedding guests. We maybe don’t host weddings here but people still stay here for that and other family events,” Junker said.

Because the hotel is off of Highway 15, they also see a lot of guests come through in the summer who are traveling on road trips and need to spot to stay and rest.

Subbert said that the staff serve as ambassadors of the city and help people on their journey, even if the final destination isn’t Fairmont. However there are some new pops of Fairmont featured, like a 3-D sign of the chain of lakes that includes a map of Fairmont. The hotel also has visitor guides on hand including Visit Fairmont’s new guide, as well as guides to neighboring communities like a visitor’s guide from South Dakota.

As for why the remodel took place, Junker said,” Hilton has a lifecycle on all of its good and it was time. This keeps it fresh and new. Tastes change and colors change and if they didn’t we’d still have the avocado green from the ’70s,” he said with a laugh.

The hotel went from primarily yellow and burgundy colors to a sleek blue and gray. All in all the total investment will be about $1.5 million. After the busy season, the hotel plans to redo some flooring and also add an outdoor patio out front so that guests can sit and enjoy nice weather with their complimentary breakfast.


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