With demand for hotel rooms strong in Missoula during the pandemic, a grand opening celebration was held Wednesday for a new $10 million WoodSpring Suites Hotel.
The 122-room, four-story building is located at 3035 Stockyard Road, just off North Reserve Street. It's geared toward extended-stay customers, with in-room kitchens, a “pets are welcome” policy and a large on-site laundry room.
“We are so excited to become a part of this beautiful community and look forward to serving its residents and visitors for many years to come," said Chris Young, corporate director of sales for WoodSpring Suites.
The hotel chain cuts back on expenses in order to offer a lower rate on rooms, he said. For example, they don’t offer a breakfast or dinner option because there’s a stove, a full-size refrigerator, a microwave and a kitchen sink in every room.
“There’s no point in cooking breakfast and dinner for you guys when you got a kitchen in your room, right?” Young said. “That allows us to put in a competitive rate.”
People are also reading…
A room that’s booked for a minimum of 28 days will go for about $54 a night, depending on the season, and a room that’s booked for at least a week can go for $63 a night. Young said they cater to traveling nurses, contractors, families and business professionals who are looking for somewhere to stay for longer periods of time.
There’s been a huge demand for hotel rooms during the pandemic, and that trend doesn’t show any sign of slowing down anytime soon, according to Mary Holmes of Destination Missoula, the local tourism bureau.
Holmes helps manage the Missoula Tourism Business Improvement District, which levies a $2-per-night fee on occupied hotel rooms in the city and uses the money to market Missoula to tourists, fund tourism and economic research and provide grant opportunities to event organizers.
“For sure, the demand is still very high for all our local hotels,” Holmes said. “Tourism is very important to Montana’s economy and definitely for Missoula.”
That’s despite a nationwide staffing shortage that’s hit hotels hard and strong competition from short-term rentals like AirBnB.
So, new hotels keep popping up in Missoula.
In downtown Missoula, the $22 million, 105-room AC Hotel opened in March of 2021 and across the street from that, a new $8.7-million, 73-room hotel called The Wren is under construction.
Randy Warner, director of extended stay hospitality at WoodSpring Suites, said supply-chain delays were a bit of a headache during construction of the building. For example, some kitchen fixtures were simply unavailable when they were needed.
“But we got through it,” he said. “We build all over the country so we’re used to it.”
Barb Neilan, executive director of Destination Missoula, said more rooms are good news for both tourists and local businesses.
“Accommodations to meet the diverse needs of all types of Missoula visitors, whether here for business or pleasure, are becoming increasingly important,” Neilan said. “Destination Missoula is happy to welcome WoodSpring Suites Hotel Missoula’s beautiful new property to our community.”