FLORENCE, S.C. -- The hospitality industry in the Florence area continues to grow in 2018.
One of the biggest projects of the year will be the completion of construction on the new Hyatt Place, set to join Hotel Florence in downtown Florence.
Raines Hospitality Inc., which manages Hotel Florence in addition to many other hotels around the Pee Dee and in South Carolina, announced that the new Hyatt Place is scheduled to open in late December.
Brittney Edwards, corporate director for sales and marketing at Raines Hospitality, said the decision to add the Hyatt Place to downtown was easy for the company.
“We saw a need for more hotels downtown to the success of Hotel Florence and growth of the market,” Edwards said. “After many months of researching brand opportunities, we found that Hyatt Place would be a great complement to Hotel Florence as well as the downtown community.”
Edwards said the company hopes the new hotel will contribute to the growth of the downtown area.
“Downtown is growing just as we hoped it would, and the continuing need for new business is there,” Edwards said. “The Hyatt Place will prove to be a great addition to our downtown market, as it will draw new people to the area who are particularly loyal to the brand. We expect to see Hyatt Place excel, just as Hotel Florence has, and become a greater partner for all involved.”
In April, the Hyatt Place had all five floors framed and the roof was being installed, said Kristen B. Myers, vice president of development.
“With more business travelers coming to Florence, Hyatt Place offers what they are seeking and gives them the opportunity to stay at a branded property in the downtown area,” Myers said.
In addition to the Hyatt Place in downtown Florence, several other hotels were constructed in 2017, and more are expected to open in 2018 on Hospitality Boulevard near the Florence Center.
Raldex Hospitality finished work on the Holiday Inn Express & Suites and expects to open a Staybridge Suites this summer.
Gregg Parsons, president of Raldex Hospitality, said the company’s locations – The Holiday Inn & Express, The Hilton Garden Inn and two Hampton Inn & Suites – in Florence have all earned awards for being in the top few percent of hotels in their brands worldwide.
“We are extremely proud of the team members at each hotel for their commitment to guest service that is the key to the success of Raldex,” Parsons said. “Also in 2017, great progress was made in the construction of the new Staybridge Suites, and [we] started making plans to build new offices for Raldex on Woody Jones Boulevard.”
Parsons said the new Staybridge Suites will feature 112 suites, a large meeting space for events such as wedding receptions, Christmas parties and corporate meetings, and create approximately 45 new jobs, bringing the Raldex team to almost 300 in the Florence community.
Raines Hospitality also saw progress in 2017, adding a Fairfield Inn & Suites to its already four-owned Marriott hotels on Hospitality Boulevard.
Edwards said the addition of the Fairfield Inn & Suites makes Florence the only place in the world that has all five of Marriott’s select service brands in a row, owned by the same company. The company also made major renovations to the Residence Inn, just a quick walk from the Fairfield Inn & Suites.
“We feel that the growth of Florence and the growth of our locale correlate with one another,” Edwards said. “We would not have the growth opportunity within the hospitality industry without the economic success we’ve seen in Florence, thanks to local partners, city officials and the community who believe in the success and growth. In return, we strive to provide a great product and even better service for the organizations and businesses bringing people into the market.”