Local hotel offers a helping hand

Around the holidays, people will travel to see their loved ones. But some folks are unable to, either due to cost or medical conditions.

For out-of-town families of those hospitalized at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, the Comfort Inn in Woodstock is offering five free rooms for five nights Dec. 19-28. Left up to the discretion of hospital staff, the program is meant to help needy families visit their relatives.

Chandra Drees, director of sales at Comfort Inn, said the program has been a long-standing tradition around the holidays.

“We’ve been doing this for years,” Drees said. “Guests Incorporated, our owner, offers this program to hospitals near all 18 of our properties in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.”

According to Drees, many families who stay are relatives of long-term care patients.

“Some people have to stay in the hospital for a long time, for whatever reason, and are unable to see their loved ones,” Drees said. “By donating five nights to families who might not afford to stay in a hotel, it helps the patient through their tough time.”

Floyd Heater, president of Shenandoah Memorial Hospital, said he and the hospital are “grateful to Comfort Inn for offering help to others.”

“We at Shenandoah Memorial appreciate Comfort Inn’s extending hospitality to those who need temporary housing while a loved one is in our hospital,” Heater said. “Our thanks to them for recognizing a potential need and stepping up to help meet it.”

Drees said the program is a way for the hotel to give back to the community.

“We just wanted to make sure we’re giving back to the community that supports us around the holidays,” Drees said. “They supported us, so it’s a good thing to give something back.”

According to Drees, the program also helps build a bigger customer base for the hotel.

“We are building brand loyalty amongst our guests with this program,” Drees said. “We find that the families who stay in our hotel through this program, if they return in a month or two, usually try to stay with us again.”

The Comfort Inn is located at 1011 Motel Drive in Woodstock.

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com