Hampton South wins national honor

“This award was earned by giving our guests in Owensboro only the highest level of service each and every day,” Mark Calitri, CEO and President of Visit Owensboro, commented on the achievement. “As someone who’s been in the hotel business a long time, this award is extremely difficult to earn. Congratulations to the entire Hampton Inn South team!” 

Messenger-Inquirer article written by Keith Lawrence, [email protected]irer.com

The Hampton Inn Owensboro South, 615 Salem Drive, was recently named to Hilton’s Circle of Excellence, an award that goes to the top 10 percent of the chain’s hotels in North America.

Candice McCloud, the hotel’s general manager, said the award is based on guest satisfaction and the quality of the hotel.

Madison Silvert, president of The Malcolm Bryant Corp., which owns the hotel, said the award rarely goes to a hotel as old as the Owensboro property, which opened on Nov. 15, 1994.

 The management and staff “have built such a family here,” he said. “Some of the staff have been here since the hotel opened. That’s what keeps people coming back.”

The average employee has been at the hotel for eight years, said McCloud, who has been there 10 years.

Occupancy rates for all Owensboro hotels dropped from 56 percent in 2016 to 54 percent last year.

Two more hotels are under construction, and a third is in the planning stages.

Will that impact the Hampton’s future?

“My grandfather was a lawyer,” Silvert said. “He would always say, ‘There are too many lawyers in Owensboro. But there’s always room for a good one.’ I think this property will continue to do well. We’re not worried at all.”

The 86-room hotel is in the south Frederica corridor, which has seen several stores planning moves to the new Gateway Commons shopping district off Kentucky 54.

But Silvert, a former president of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corp., said plans to develop the old Texas Gas Transmission property at Frederica and Tamarack Road with offices, stores, restaurants and apartments should help revitalize Frederica.

And Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers’ decision to build its first Owensboro restaurant on south Frederica adds to the vitality of the area, he said.

“What people like about this location is all the nearby restaurants,” McCloud said.

The Malcolm Bryant Corp. also owns the Hampton Inn & Suites downtown, which is in a different category from the Hampton South for Hilton awards.

McCloud’s husband, Matthew, is general manager of that hotel.

Is a third Bryant hotel here likely?

“We’re always examining the market for possibilities,” Silvert said. “We love Owensboro. More of our assets are in Owensboro than any other city. We want to make sure our two hotels are doing really well. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin.”

But there is a possibility of a third hotel if conditions are right, he said.

“We’re really fortunate to have Candice,” Silvert said.

But McCloud deflected the attention to her 26-member staff.

“They all take pride in the property,” she said. “And it shows.”

One business traveler returns every two or three weeks, she said, because he’s treated like family.

“We’re different as a company,” Silvert said. “So many build a hotel, looking to sell it. We want to run them forever. It changes the atmosphere. It’s a family business.”

McCloud said she’s working on a staff celebration for the award.

“We want to show them how proud we are of them,” Silvert said.

Hilton’s website says there are more than 2,300 Hamptons in 19 countries.