Renovation Planned at Valdosta La Quinta

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

In August, the La Quinta Inn & Suites on Club House Drive will begin a $1.3 million renovation of the property, which opened in 1988 and was last remodeled six years ago.  The project includes an update of décor in guest rooms as well as a remodel of the front lobby, breakfast area and other common areas.

"The art work in the guest rooms and lobby is going to feature local history and attractions," said General Manager Rick Oelkers.  "And we're going to have a new concierge-style front desk.  When we're through, it will be like a brand new property."

The La Quinta Inn and La Quinta Inn & Suites properties are limited service hotels operating across the United States.  The La Quinta Inn & Suites properties are designed to accommodate longer visits than La Quinta Inn properties.  The chain includes both franchise and corporate-owned properties.  In Valdosta, the La Quinta Inn & Suites is franchise-owned.

A Slow Travel Year
According to Oelkers, business in 2012 is off about 7 percent from last year due largely to the slow economy.  That trend is true for many Valdosta hotel properties.

"We get a weekly report on hotel stays in the area.  For example, last week we were down 3 percent from 2011 but others in the area were down 20 percent," Oelkers said.

Many guests at the La Quinta travel to Valdosta to enjoy the Wild Adventures Theme Park.  In the past, families would arrive on a Friday, purchase a two-day ticket to the park at the hotel and stay Friday and Saturday nights.  This year, theme park tickets are not selling as well, according to Oelkers.  Families are traveling straight to the park on Saturday, buying their tickets there and spending only Saturday night at the hotel.

"Wild Adventures is a big draw in the summer and we usually get a big uptick, but not this year," Oelkers said.

Southern Hospitality
Valdosta is the kind of place where people you don't know say hello, according to Oelkers.  The La Quinta tries to exude that same southern hospitality.

"We help our guests get settled in and make their stay as enjoyable as possible.  We want to ensure our guests feel they made the right choice in staying at our hotel," Oelkers said.

He believes the Valdosta La Quinta is not the typical La Quinta.  For example, the hotel holds a free manager's reception in the evening with home-baked cookies, ice cream and drinks for adults and children.  

"Our customer service is second to none," Oelkers said.  "It's our culture within the hotel.  I treat our employees like I would want to be treated and they treat our guests like they would want to be treated."

On, the La Quinta Inn & Suites is ranked number two of 32 hotels in Valdosta.  Recent comments on the site include "Great staff great location" and "Lots of extras for a great price."

For more information on the La Quinta Inn & Suites, call 229-247-7755.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.