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AUSTIN-Extended StayAmerica has opened its fifth Austin location at 600 Guadalupe St. and is finalizing a contract to begin construction on a sixth property off MoPac Boulevard. The 101-room, four-story hotel located on the city’s heavily traveled, centrally located Guadalupe Street, utilizes 33,930 sf and is situated on 1.63 acres, says an Extended StayAmerica source. She says project costs tally about $8.3 million. The opening of the Guadalupe Street location marks the Fort Lauderdale-based company’s 37th Texas location.

“We have a lot of contracts for properties in Texas at the moment, but no construction under way in Texas,” says the company contact. Construction is pending at MoPac Boulevard and Southwest Parkway where Extended StayAmerica hopes to open its 38th Texas location after finalizing contract negotiations for the land. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2001, says the spokeswoman.

“We choose our areas for expansion based on market demand for extended-stay properties,” she says. “Most of our development is in the West and Northeast.” Company real estate representatives operating out of eight regions select the sites. Texas is included in the company’s southeastern division based in Spartanburg, SC. A site such as the company’s new Guadalupe Street location in Austin, she explains, appeals to the company because it is in a high-visibility area, near the Capitol and the University of Texas.

The extended-stay hotel concept is quickly catching the attention of the traveling public, prompting companies such as Extended StayAmerica to keep up with market demand for the rooms. A 1998 study commissioned by the company through PricewaterhouseCoopers had concluded the national demand for extended-stay hotel rooms exceeds available rooms by a 3-to-1 margin.

The hotels are finding a large customer base among business travelers on long-term work or training assignments. The clientele also includes guests who are in the process of building homes or relocating. The efficiency-style rooms are equipped with a kitchen, refrigerator, two-burner range, microwave, coffee maker, utensils and tableware. Other essentials include a computer data port, free local calls, free voice mail and cable television. Guests also have access to weekly housekeeping service, twice-weekly towel service and a 24-hour, coin-operated laundry facility.

Extended Stay America Inc. operates its Texas-based hotels under its StudioPLUS Deluxe Studios, Extended StayAmerica Efficiency Studios and Crossland Economy Studios brand names. The company has Texas locations in Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Extended Stay America Inc. was recently named one of America’s 100 fastest-growing companies by Fortune magazine. The company owns 386 properties nationwide.

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