Holiday Inn Express and Suites growing with community
IRONTON — February’s Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Knights of Columbus featured guest speaker Melissa Butterworth, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites.
Butterworth talked about the growth of the hotel since opening in November, and how the community impacts that growth.
“I love the brand. I love the expectations that people come with. But what makes my job so interesting and great is just the people that you meet everyday and the new communities that you get to go to,” she said at the luncheon. “But there’s not enough I can say about the citizens of Ironton. Since I got here in July, I have never in all my days been so welcomed into a community.”
Butterworth was named general manager of the hotel by MPH Hotels Inc. in July 2014. Prior to taking this position, she served as the general manager of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Hazard, Kentucky, and has been in the hotel industry for 17 years.
The Ironton Holiday Inn Express and Suites is a 79-room facility with 64 standard rooms, 15 suites and 24-hour amenities such as a saltwater pool and spa, exercise room and an outdoor patio with a fire pit and barbecue grill.
There is also a meeting room that holds up to 39 people that can be set up classroom-, theater- or buffet-style.
“Sometimes we don’t get the best clients, but we’ve made a statement and made it clear that Ironton’s improved and it’s becoming the place to be. We definitely want to base a foundation for that,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of your community, but most of all, I’m proud of you all. You are what make it what it is. Anybody in the local area can offer you a bed or a pool or a hotel room, but what they can’t offer is the community like this and the service that you get here.”
The community is the biggest marketing tool to bring people in, she said. A historic package to show what the community has to offer as far as the history of it is in the works along with a portfolio for the front desk to show people things to do and places to see.
The hotel currently employs 25 people, but the growth has been steady, as this past week marked the highest occupancy that it has had.
“Since our numbers have come up quicker than what we anticipated, we’re starting our second phase of hiring,” Butterworth said. “We have five positions open right now, so we’re looking forward to the growing.”
The growing hotel will help create job opportunities for the area. When the hotel reaches the 90 percent occupancy mark, it will likely add 10 more positions, she said.