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AURORA, IL-InterContinental Hotels Group has opened its $7-million Candlewood Suites at 2625 W. Sullivan Rd. The 83-room extended stay hotel represents the ninth Candlewood location in the Chicago area. The pet-friendly hotel offers guests complimentary 24-hour laundry facilities and a fitness center, wireless Internet access and a business center, and a grill for cookouts.

“Part of the process is determining where there are development opportunities available for this brand and where there is an extended stay need, such as corporate facilities, medical centers, education or government,” says Robert Radomski, VP of Global Brand Management for Extended-Stay Brands within InterContinental Hotels Group. “In Aurora, we see huge corporate representation, with companies that do a lot of research and development of products with consultants coming in and they do trainings with trainees and trainers coming in from all over the world. The Aurora location is in a ramp-up mode now and they’re in the process of identifying demand drivers and building those relationships.”

InterContinental says it expects to generate business from nearby corporations including Toyota, Hyundai, Dial Corp., and American Electric Power. Other local interest points that may drive demand include the Chicago Premium Outlet Mall, SciTech Hands On Museum, the Kane County Fairground, Orchard Valley Golf Course and Black Sheep Golf Club, and downtown Chicago less than 45 minutes away.

The Aurora location is the first in the area to adhere to the new Candlewood prototype, which dictates facilities that more closely resemble the residential appearance of townhomes. Owned by Garlapati Hospitality LLC and managed by Bask Hospitality LLC under a license agreement with InterContinental, the development has also brought 12 new jobs to the area.

Radomski says extended-stay hotels remain a strong market despite rough economic conditions overall. “Year after year, extended stay is one of the healthiest markets,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Demand is so high and hotels keep coming on line, but extended stay around Aurora is still underserved. In the far western market, supply hasn’t caught up with demand.”

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