SJS Hotels Offer Convenient Luxury

WELCOMING GUESTS: Jeff Hartman, SJS Hospitality managing partner, stands in front of the Holiday Inn Express located in Broken Arrow next to the Bass Pro Shop. SJS Hospitality opened its first hotel in 2004.

At SJS Hospitality LLC, lodging is their commodity but customer service is their business.

It was the market’s need for more lodging venues that brought Jeff Hartman and his investor/partners to the greater Tulsa metro area. What has followed has been brand awards and higher than projected occupancy rates. Hartman, SJS Hospitality’s managing partner, explains the rewards have been the result of good old fashioned hard work and superior employee attitudes.

“Our company recognized a need and seized the opportunity to provide Tulsa and its surrounding areas upscale hotels with a relaxed atmosphere,” Hartman says. “At every level of the organizational chart, we follow the belief that our commodity is hotel rooms but our product is hospitality. Our company has diligently sought to meet the needs as well as the wants of our customers.”

SJS properties include the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites next to Broken Arrow’s Bass Pro Shop at Stone Wood Hills and the Candlewood Suites located in south Tulsa at 10008 E. 73rd St. S. (behind Babies R Us).

A 42,000-square-foot extended-stay hotel, Candlewood Suites opened its doors in July 2004, achieving 72 percent occupancy in its first year and growing to 85 percent occupancy in 2006.
“We’re seeing the effects of industry growth as business and leisure travelers resume travel patterns from past years,” Hartman says.

In 2006 Candlewood Suites received top honors from the InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club rewards by Priority Club Rewards Members and received the year’s Newcomer Award.

With 72 suites, Candlewood offers a comfortable studio and one-bedroom suite featuring a fully-equipped kitchen and large workspace. Other amenities include free high-speed internet, guest laundry, lending library, fitness facility and a “mini convenience store” amply stocked with food, beverages and toiletries.

The 65,000-square-foot Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites offers 120 guest rooms and amenities include a hot tub, game room, a fitness center and business services. The Broken Arrow hotel has maintained more than 65-percent occupancy since opening last July and expects to increase its guest numbers as construction continues in the Stone Wood Hills development.
“We chose this location for its obvious potential for continued growth and we don’t believe we’ll be disappointed,” Hartman says.

Along with a great location, he emphasizes the importance of meeting and exceeding customer expectations. That’s why as a company SJS retains more staff in its hotels than the industry standard.

“A hotel can offer a perfect ambience but it’s superior service that keeps customers coming back” he says. “Whether it’s checking in a guest, cleaning a room or taking a reservation, we’re working to show every customer how important they are to us and our operation.”

According to Hartman, the success of Candlewood Suites coupled with the opening of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites earned the company nearly $2.1 million in revenue. That number is expected to grow with the opening of another property in the near future.

Plans are underway for a 50,000-square-foot Marriott Residence Inn that will be located in the Stone Wood Hills development along Elm Place north of the Broken Arrow Expressway.

A $7.5 million project, the Marriott Residence Inn will feature 90 to 95 rooms and is contracted by Thomas Construction of Osage Beach, Mo. The estimated date of completion is spring 2008.

“The Marriott will complement the Holiday Inn Express and vice versa,” Hartman says. “Our Holiday Inn guests will be able to enjoy the Marriott’s outdoor pool while our customers at the Marriott can enjoy the Holiday Inn’s indoor pool, miniature golf course and convenience store.”

The target audience for SJS hotels includes the business travelers and vacationers, but Hartman says they’re seeking to attract the locals as well—specifically couples looking for a weekend getaway or a family needing an extra bed for the in-laws.

“It all comes back to meeting the needs of our customers,” Hartman says. “People are often looking for an affordable upscale hotel and that’s what we provide.”

Future plans for SJS Hospitality include opening two or more hotels by 2010 and a possible expansion into property management.

Updated 03-26-2007

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