When Springhill Suites by Marriott opened just off the bypass and Highway 67 in 2008, the 113-room hotel raised the bar in hotel accommodations in Statesboro. The hotel was built by a group of local investors and included some unique features, one of which included a 6,000-square-foot detached conference center that can accommodate 400 seated guests.
The hotel was purchased several years ago by Ascent Hospitality based out of Buford, Ga. Counting hotels under construction, Ascent owns and operates nearly 40 hotels.
The company has an interesting history, being co-founded by John Tampa, a former Olympic athlete. John was a member of the Romanian Olympic team. He represented Romania in the 1994 Winter Olympics in the skiing biathlon, which involves 17 miles of cross country skiing and precision shooting. Locally, the hotel is managed by Phil Boyum, who also serves as a Statesboro city councilman.
Last year, Springhill began a $1 million restoration that includes the entire hotel and the conference center. The extensive renovations saw new wall décor, carpet and upgraded bedding in addition to other upgrades.
"It was time to refresh the hotel," Boyum said. "Marriott has very high standards for the hotels bearing their brand. This requires us to maintain the property to a very high standard of excellence. It is a bit of a challenge to take on a renovation of this magnitude while continuing to operate the hotel. Our guests have been very understanding and the repeat customers have really enjoyed the updates."
The hotel was built originally with athletes in mind. The all-suites hotel includes 18 rooms that each include two California King Beds. Boyum, who stands 6'8", understands the importance of having a bed that accommodates people who are a little "above average" in height.
Throughout the renovation process Boyum has focused on repurposing as much as possible of the materials from the hotel. Several local agencies, including Safe Haven, Fostering Bulloch and the local animal shelter, benefited from the renovation.
With the renovations complete, the team at Springhill Suites will play host to an open house and local arts night to showcase the "new" hotel and local artists together. The event is free and open to the public and will he held on Thursday, June 15, from 4-7 p.m. On the same day, the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, which is sponsored by the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, will be held at Springhill.
"'Art of Local' is a national program sponsored by Marriott's Springhill brand," Boyum said. "Our goal locally with this is to help promote local artists, the Averitt Center for the Arts and our beautiful downtown. We do this in several ways, including featuring local artist's work in our lobby throughout the year and by holding an annual Art Night. All of the proceeds not only benefit the local artists directly, but also are directed to help the Averitt Center for the Arts.
"As a city councilman and GM of the Springhill, I see every day the value our downtown and the Averitt Center brings to our community, especially from a tourism and business traveler perspective. Daily, I hear how charming and wonderful our downtown is and what a jewel the Averitt has become."
Come out on June 15 and tour the hotel and enjoy meeting local artists displaying and musicians performing throughout the property. This will be a great event the entire family can enjoy.