Holiday Inn, Aspen Hotel construction to add 140 rooms

Construction continues on two hotel projects set to add 140 rooms to the Anchorage market.

Work has started to expand the Holiday Inn Express in Anchorage. The project will add 50 rooms to the 78-room hotel, said Teresa Wasson, regional director of sales and marketing for the Alaska division.

The Holiday Inn Express in Anchorage is operated by a national hotel management company, The Hotel Group, based in Edmonds, Wash. The Anchorage hotel, at 4411 Spenard Road, opened in June 1999.

Construction began in early January and should be completed by June, Wasson said. The project also will expand seating in the hotel’s breakfast area and add microwaves and refrigerators to all rooms. Previously, microwaves and refrigerators were available in 30 rooms on the executive level, she said.

Although Wasson did not list the value of the project, the contractor, A&A Construction and Development Inc., received a city building permit in August for a $2.3 million hotel addition.

The Spokane-based general contractor is part of the ownership group, she said.

Since the hotel opened three years ago, operators of the Holiday Inn Express in Anchorage said the property exceeded their goals. Wasson also believes future demand will stem from the expanded Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and overall travel to and from Alaska.

Holiday Inn Express is geared to business travelers, and Wasson said the brand is capitalizing on a trend that business travelers are more inclined to stay at hotels with limited rather than deluxe, downtown facilities. The hotel differs from others, she said.

"We are the only hotel in the city that has the pool, spa and fitness center open 24 hours," she said.

In other Anchorage hotel construction news, builders have nearly enclosed the 90-room Aspen Hotel, adding a fifth hotel to a statewide chain.

Work on the hotel, which began last June, should be complete in late May, said spokeswoman Megan Sumner. Aspen Hotel should open by June 1, she said.

City building permit application records show the project is valued at $4.9 million. Western Steel is general contractor and parent company of the hotel. Aspen Hotel has sister hotels in Fairbanks, Juneau, Soldotna and Valdez as part of GuestHouse Inn & Suites.

The 97-room Fairbanks hotel opened last May. The 63-room hotel in Soldotna is scheduled to open in April.

"Our goal is to garner loyalty from critical partners in the oil, gas and fishing industries, as well as in the leisure market," Sumner said. "These are hotels for Alaskans to work and play in."

The Anchorage Aspen Hotel at 8th Avenue and A Street should employ about 25 people, Sumner said. The hotel will feature extended stay suites similar to a one-bedroom apartment, a spa suite with a four-poster king bed and a whirlpool bath, plus family suites with a king bed for parents and children’s bunk beds in an adjoining room with a television, videocassette recorder and Sony Playstation. Another suite, called the Aspen Suite, will total 1,100 square feet and features a balcony, indoor spa, steam room and bar.

All rooms will have refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers and VCRs, she said.

By late January builders were to complete roof work, Sumner said. Subsequent work will include interior framing, she said.

01/27/2002 - 8:00pm