News: Post breaks ground on lodging tailor-made for troops
Story by Melissa Buckley
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - A groundbreaking officially started the construction of a new hotel on post, Dec 18.
“The future for Fort Leonard Wood lodging looks extremely bright. There is more than $54 million planned to be spent here in the next 48 months,” said Will Radford, Lend Lease development manager. “This is a privilege. This is how we give back to the soldiers who protect and serve the country that we live in.”
The fort’s new hotel will be called Candlewood Suites on Fort Leonard Wood and will feature 235 one-and two bedroom suites and studios.
“The Candlewood Suites hotel is not your typical hotel. It’s not like a hotel you would see outside the gates. It has been designed with the military traveler in mind,” Radford said.
The top floor is designed for distinguished visitors with enlarged suites and a private lounge. It will include a swimming pool, business center, fitness center and great room. Guest laundry will be provided. The hotel will also offer complimentary breakfast daily, as well as weekly socials for guests.
Candlewood Suites is projected to be finished in fall of 2015. The hotel will replace the Sturgis facility.
Also, the renovation of 417 rooms at Foster Lodge and Morelli Heights is to begin early next year. The two buildings will be turned into Holiday Inn Express hotels.
“These are vast improvements to our installation and to the mission we have here at Fort Leonard Wood,” said Col. William Pfeffer, Fort Leonard Wood Garrison commander.
Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commander, said he is proud of the new facilities because they will provide better lodging for troops.
“This is my third time on Fort Leonard Wood. The first time I was here, I stayed at some quarters that were not great. It’s good to see where we came from and where we are going,” Smith said.
InterContinental Hotels Group Army Hotels operations vice president Arthur Holst said his company is proud to serve those who are proud to serve.
“I love this project because it’s about caring. IHG and Lend Lease are taking care of soldiers and their families every day,” Holst said.