It has been a long road to the finish line, but the Candlewood Suites at 6611 Whittlesey Blvd. looks to be a mere month or so away from opening its doors to overnight guests.
The 83-suite property is close enough to its big debut that management is holding a job fair Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a nearby Staybridge Suites, 1678 Whittlesey Road, in the Bradley Park shopping area.
Anil Patel, a hotelier who has been working on the project since 2008, conceded Tuesday it has “been a long time” getting just to this moment, with the hotel shooting for a May 20 opening date, if not sooner.
“We bought the land a long time ago,” he said of the property adjacent to the Kia Autosport dealership near the eastern end of Columbus Park Crossing.
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A series of setbacks delayed construction on the $6.5 million property, including a need to redesign the hotel and financial issues that required seeking a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, work started in early 2012 and despite a few more hiccups along the way, the Candlewood Suites is about ready.
“We are going through inspections now. We’re doing a little bit of cleaning up,” said Kimberly Williams-Scott, director of sales and marketing for the property, which is being called Candlewood Suites Columbus-Northeast.
“So we are now at the point where we’re hiring staff so that we can get everyone in and trained before opening day,” she said. “I’m looking to hire at least five front desk agents, one front-desk supervisor, one executive housekeeper and about eight housekeepers, plus maintenance staff.”
The job fair at the Staybridge Suites will conclude “precisely” at 4 p.m., Williams-Scott said, so those interested should stop by as early as possible. She said prospects should bring copies of their résumé and dress professionally.
Candlewood Suites is a brand founded in the mid-1990s and now majority-owned by InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG is a British firm that operates a variety of other brands as well, including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Even, Hualuxe and InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.