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Hampton Proves There’s Room for Inn

News Press
By Mae Yousif-Bashi mbashi@news-press.com

Cape hotel, at 3, a success story

Off the main commercial path and in a less-than-friendly pedestrian area, some wondered whether the big orange building with 75 hotel rooms inside would ever make it.

Throw in an economy start gin to go sour at the time, and it appeared the place with a swimming pool didn’t have a chance.

Three years later, Cape Coral’s Hampton Inn & Suites is filling rooms and still going strong. The first hotel to open in 20 years, Hampton Inn & Suites turned 3 in February.

And the staff has hardware to show for their efforts. As the letters of recognition and plaques arrive in the mail, co-owner Fred Hirschovits is reminded of all that represents him and all that keeps his business moving forward.

“We just have a great team,” he said.

Hirschovits is president of Twenty Twenty Worldwide Hospitality, a company that “specializes in creating a point of difference and a strategic competitive advantage for hospitality and related industries,” he said.

A large part of the hotel’s success, he said, is because of the team effort and friendly feeling that transcend to the guests.

One of the latest awards the group received was the 2008 Circle of Excellence Award.

It’s presented to the top 10 percent of the Hampton system – about 1,600 Hampton Inn & Suites – based on outstanding delivery of product and service quality to the hotel’s guests.

“From day one, we have received outstanding evaluations,” said Hirschovits, 56. “In any business, you have to have crisp, good, friendly, attentive service. Business goes where it’s wanted and stays where it’s appreciated.”

He added the hotel is in good standing, with a mixture of clients including wedding parties, visitors with Lee County sports teams, leisure and business travelers.

The most consistent of them all, though, are the corporate clients, said Linda Mulch, the hotel’s general manager.

“Hampton Inn has a great product to offer,” she said. “Our guests are loyal and they know what they’re going to get.”

When she receives the numerous Hampton awards, many addressed to her, but she said she isn’t the one who deserves them.

“I think I have the best hotel staff in the world,” Mulch said. “I’ve been in the business a long time… they won the ward, I didn’t.”

Hirschovits recently opened a Holiday Inn Airport at Town Center off Alico Road and Interstate 75.

He has plans to open more hotels – one of which could be located in Punta Gorda – but said he’s waiting to execute those plans until the end of this year. Hirschovits also is planning a second Hampton Inn & Suites in Cape Coral off Pine Island Road.