Renamed Hotel Targets New Patrons

July 21, 1991|By June Kurtz | June Kurtz,Contributing writer

WESTMINSTER — In an attempt to attract more off-the-street business, the Quality Inn at the intersection of routes 140 and 31 is changing its name to Comfort Inn, said John J. Downes, a hotel management representative.

In addition, the hotel's McDaniel's restaurant will become Reunions, a more casual and less expensive establishment that will be more inline with hotel patrons and the Carroll community, said Downes, vicepresident of marketing for Marshall Management Inc., the hotel's management company.

The elegant, formal atmosphere of McDaniel's was well received bya few county residents, said Barry Bosley, director of conference services and facilities management for Western Maryland College.

"Unfortunately, we just can't pay the bills with a small group of people," he said.

Cathy A. Freed, the hotel's general manager, said the area "needs something that's going to be a lot of fun. What we're trying to do is go after the business that would appeal to families, to corporate guests."

McDaniel's fails to get business from the hotelbecause people do not want to pay more to eat than they pay to sleep, said David A. Goetcheus, the restaurant's food and beverage manager. Room rates at the hotel start at $39.

"That's one of the reasonsthat we're doing the restaurant change," Bosley said. "Even when it was a Quality Inn, the restaurant never quite fit."

By changing its name, the hotel is taking a step down on the scale of its parent company, Choice Hotels International, making it more unlikely that hotel guests would dine at a formal restaurant, he said.

Quality Inns are full-service hotels with restaurants, lounges and room rates thatfall in the middle of the market, while Comfort Inns usually have limited service with economy prices, Downes said. Quality Inns can be anything from an older-style roadside, walk-up hotel to a downtown high-rise, he said.

"A lot more people would stop at a Comfort Inn than a Quality Inn (because) there's so much diversity in what a Quality Inn is," he said. "Comfort Inn is a new franchise. It's perceived as being a newer hotel."

Applications have been taken for a few newpositions at Reunions, Goetcheus said. The current employees are looking forward to the changes, he added.

"They're all very excited because it gives them an opportunity to work in a place where they canmake more money and have more fun," Goetcheus said.

He said the prices will be most appealing to the customers.

"The prices probably will be cut about 25 percent," Freed said, adding that the most expensive item on the new menu will be $13.95, down from $17.95.

The menu, printed to look like a newspaper, will offer variations on typical foods, Goetcheus said.

Reunion's nostalgic theme, developed byCFI, a Virginia-based company that specializes in hotel and restaurant design, will include memorabilia that spans the generations, said Susan D. Veal, an interior designer for the project.

"It's going to be lively and energetic and visually stimulating," she said.

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