By Katie Demeria
A hotel in Middletown will have a whole new look and new name this fall.
The former Super 8 at 91 Reliance Road has been undergoing renovations since February and will open this fall as an Econo Lodge, according to general manager Nick Bhagat.
Bhagat said the rooms have been gutted and new carpet and wall decorations will be installed.
"It's basically a gutting of the property," Bhagat said. "Everything is clean, fresh, new - it's all been scrubbed down. Everything has been removed from the rooms, as well."
Each room, he said, will be "fully decked out" with amenities such as refrigerators, microwaves and hair driers.
"You name it, we can do it," he said.
Bhagat has been with the hotel for more than a decade, while the business itself has been in operation for about 15 years. He said moderate renovations have taken place every five years, but this is its first full renovation.
When it is finished, he added, the interior will look brand new -- similar to the way it looked when first constructed.
"It's expensive and exciting," Bhagat said. "We want to have a very, very nice product out there for our customers and still be very competitive price wise. We want to give the customer the biggest bang for their buck. That way, the consumer wins."
The moderate renovations that took place periodically cost between $200,000 and $400,00, according to Bhagat.
This major renovation was budgeted to cost $800,000, but it may ultimately go over $1 million.
It was originally projected to be a six-month project, he said, but has required more time.
Bhagat said he hopes the opening will coincide with the opening of the new McDonalds restaurant located next to the hotel, though the similar opening dates are coincidental.
"We're waiting for the McDonalds to come through at the same time, which is great because there will be two new properties in Middletown," he said.
While Bhagat said he was excited for the renovations, he added that doing such a major job has some difficulties.
"The hardest job is when the renovations are coming up and when we're working on things, and the customers don't understand why we're shuffling people around," he said.
But he anticipates customers will appreciate the new facility.
"Most of our customers are regulars, they have been coming for six, seven years, and they're accustomed to their home away from home," he said.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org