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Newest Hotel in McPherson Candlewood Suites Celebrates with Community at Chamber Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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By Brenna Eller

 

Candlewood Suites Ribbon Cutting June 20
Candlewood Suites is the newest hotel to open in McPherson, having opened November 2023. It has a total of 92 rooms and is geared toward the extended-stay guest. (Photo by Brenna Eller)

McPHERSON, Kan. — Candlewood Suites, the newest hotel in McPherson officially celebrated with the community during a chamber ribbon cutting on Thursday, June 20.

“Hotels are one of the first impressions that people often have of a town, so the fact that we have a business that is so excited to welcome them and to take great care of them while they come is a big deal,” said Carlyn Lemon, McPherson Chamber of Commerce President-Elect. 

Heidi Ortiz, General Manager of the McPherson Candlewood Suites shared that she and her whole team are proud of the product, the property and to be a part of the McPherson community.

“Everybody has just been so welcoming from day one,” Ortiz said, “I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Candlewood Suites is managed by True North, based out of Kansas City. Ortiz said that something that makes the company special to McPherson County is that it was started by a man who was born and raised in Inman. 

Joe Andrick, Regional Vice President of True North Hotel Group.

“Candlewood is part of the IHG Holiday Inn family, so this is an extended stay brand, as you notice in the rooms, designed for travelers staying long-term,” Andrick said.  

Andrick turned the floor over to John Ferguson, Managing Partner of Ferguson Hotel Development, who said this was his first Candlewood, but not his first rodeo developing hotels.

Ferguson opened his first hotel in 1991, and shared that he started looking at hotels back in 1986 on a ski lift with a guy who had just gotten into the Marriott business. Ferguson Hotel Development, LLC (FHD) was created in 2007, and started with John, who attended his first Marriott owners meeting in 1989 and is the 7th Franchisee. FHD is a preferred developer with the three major brands Marriott, Hilton, and IHG. 

A look into one of the Extended Stay rooms at Candlewood Suites (Photos by Brenna Eller)

“I like to come to communities like this where we get together, we know each other, and we have a commitment at Ferguson Hotel Development, through True North,” Ferguson said. “We would like our people that work with us, our partners, to be a part of our community.”

Ferguson added that he believes in total commitment to the community and that his company always gets reciprocity back from the community. 

“We’re extremely happy to be here and we make a commitment that we’ll be a good partner here,” Ferguson added.

Ortiz shared that there are 377 Candlewoods in North America.

“I am proud to say that we are ranked number 13 year-to-date in Candlewoods in America,” Ortiz said.

She also explained that the target market is the extended stay customer. Workers who come from out of state, out of town for work. 

“We’re here in this area because you folks have the refinery. We’ve got Pfizer, we’ve got KMU, we’ve got a ton of opportunities to host your employees that are coming in, that are away from home, that are coming in for an extended amount of time to work. And we’re happy to provide them with a home away from home when they’re here working, which is going to make them that much more proficient when they’re working for you. 

Something that sets Candlewood Suites apart from other hotels is that they don’t offer complimentary breakfast.

“What we do have is free guest laundry, so during their entire stay, they can do their laundry, wash their clothes, and it costs them nothing, so I think that is a good trade off there,” Ortiz said.

There is also a gazebo grill, which is utilized a lot by the guests according to Ortiz. Also available to guests is a 24-hour fitness center, with an elliptical machine, weights and treadmills. 

“We’re really trying to make that atmosphere where they feel like they’re at home,” Ortiz said. “I think I have the best hotel in McPherson and I know I have the best team to take care of any of your guests’ needs.

Mayor Tom Brown congratulated True North, Ferguson Development and Candlewood on the business.

“It’s a lot of hard work to do this from the purchase of the property to COVID which slowed us down, inflation, but we’re here,” Mayor Brown said. “I think the elegance of the spread reflects how much they want to be here, how much they want you to enjoy today.” 

Mayor Brown said he had a chance to talk with Ferguson and Jeff Sharp, who has worked with Ferguson for many years and said True North and the FHD are among the best management groups. 

He also recommended all of the community members present at the ribbon cutting on Thursday see what the Extended-Stay rooms down the hall look like. Included in the rooms are kitchenettes, with full-sized refrigerators, sinks, microwaves, stovetops and dishwashers.

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