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EL PASO-Tapping into residential growth and business generated by local military and medical organizations, Atlanta-based InterContinental Hotels Group is launching its Candlewood Suites extended-stay brand in the area.

Two projects, totaling 132 rooms, will break ground later this year and another 200 to 300 will come on line within three years.

Cohen Hospitality Group LP of El Paso will build and manage a 92-room Candlewood Suites. The hotel will be built on slightly more than two acres at US Hwy. 54 and Cohen Avenue on the far north side of town. Another El Paso developer will take on the task of building and managing a 120-room Candlewood Suites, which will be set on three acres at Sunland Park and Futurity drives in the border city of Sunland Park, NM. Both projects, set for completion in fourth quarter 2009, will cost slightly more than $10 million to develop.

Gregory Aden, InterContinental Hotels Group’s regional director of franchise sales and development, tells GlobeSt.com that a third Candlewood Suites is being planned for the area although a specific groundbreaking hasn’t been designated. He says the city could end up with four over the long term “with the emphasis on developing and franchising.”

Aden says the extended-stay nature of the Candlewood brand fits perfectly in El Paso because there are so many government-related businesses and organizations plus it’s a medical center for the region. El Paso also is home to Fort Bliss, the largest air-defense artillery training center in the world.

El Paso’s population is growing steadily. “Rooftops are definitely expanding in the area,” Aden says, adding the city’s east side is a target market since that’s where new developments are being built.

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