By Staff Sgt. Kelly S Carlton (Leonard Wood)December 3, 2015
The chain-link fencing around the construction on Nebraska Avenue will be coming down soon, as the brand new, 234-room Candlewood Suites hotel nears completion.
"We will be open to the public, but we are mandated by the military to give institutional training students, like those attending basic officer leader course, priority," said Susan Sielky, general manager, InterContinental Hotel Group.
Col. Andy Herbst, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, said the new facility, scheduled to open in early 2016, is a huge upgrade from the Sturgis Heights facility, which served the installation for several decades.
"The new Candlewood Suites provides a top-notch residence for students and visitors living, working and playing on Fort Leonard Wood," Herbst said.
Although there will be 100 fewer rooms available, the Fort Leonard Wood IHG office said one of the upgrades includes a swimming pool.
Sielky added the new hotel has one unique feature only offered on Fort Leonard Wood.
"This location is unique to any other Army installation Candlewood Suites. This is the only location that will serve a hot breakfast," she said. "Breakfast will be served seven days a week."
The hotel location provides convenient access post shopping and other recreational areas.
"Students will benefit from the amenities you come to expect at many of the four-star hotels nationwide with the added convenience of being in the center of the base with easy access to the Exchange, commissary and recreational areas," Herbst said.
Sielky said the new facility plans to offer Wednesday evenings guest social.
"It's an opportunity to get to know our guests better. The guests can come out and get to know each other," said Sielky.
"As the general manager, I take time to meet the people and ask how we, as a staff, are doing. We get to learn so much about our Soldiers because they are primarily who comes to the hotel."