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ATLANTA-Locally based Hotel Equities has added the Candlewood Suites in Macon to its growing management portfolio. The 83-room property located at 3957 Riverplace Drive, off Interstate 75, is the management, development and consulting firm’s 43rd hotel. The property opened in October 2008, and is now owned by Ashok J. Patel and Shree Ji Swamibapa Ji LLC, which chose Hotel Equities to manage because of the firm’s assurance and experience, says Mary Beth Cutshall, director of business development for Hotel Equities.

“There is a flight to quality because of the economy, and right now you really have to know what you’re doing versus a couple of years ago when there was business for everybody,” Cutshall tells GlobeSt.com. “Now there is a real differentiation. The goal of our efforts at any of our properties is to exceed the expectations of guests, associates and ownership groups.”

The Candlewood Suites-Macon is an extended stay hotel featuring primarily studio and one-bedroom rooms with fully equipped kitchens and large work spaces. Amenities include a laundry facility, exercise room, outdoor pool, wireless high-speed Internet, business center and meeting space. Rates at the Macon hotel range from $89 to $98 per night.

Hotel Equities’ portfolio is located primarily in the Southeast, but will expand into the Midwest over the next year and eventually will look to add properties in the Northeast, says Cutshall. “We’ve had 100% growth over the last two years and we’re forecasting 40% to 50% growth this year,” she says. The company began managing its first Midwest property last month with the Hilton Garden Inn at 3401 Plaza Court in Elkhart, IN.

Over the next year, Hotel Equities forecasts a downturn from 2008 but not as much as the overall industry forecast, explains Cutshall. “This is a time when some hotels cut back on what they do and we think this is time to get new business from our competitors because we don’t cut services at the expense of guest experience,” she adds. “We plan to continue to grow market share in 2009.”

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