Home2 Suites: Leading the Way in Sustainability
The Home2 Suites Milwaukee Airport is the newest addition to the Gateway to Milwaukee & the Green Corridor. After just 9 months of construction, the hotel opened for business on Thursday, March 17. Ashley Morrow, the General Manager of Home2 Suites Milwaukee Airport, sat down with Stacy to share her excitement about the brand new hotel, to talk about how it came to fruition, and to discuss how Home2’s sustainability focus is a perfect fit for the Green Corridor.
Ashley has been working in the hospitality industry for 5.5 years, working at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn before coming on board at Home2 Suites as the General Manager. Ashley says: “This is my first GM role and my first opening of a hotel, and has been one of the best experiences of my life. I never thought about what goes into the process of building a hotel and the system behind it.”
Ashley and her staff have worked tirelessly for the last 9 months to create a friendly and inviting atmosphere at the Home2 Suites. From hiring all 24 staff members, to building the hotel’s website, to screwing in each and every light bulb in the hotel, Ashley and her team have essentially built the Home2 Suites from the ground up. “It has been a great experience working with my staff to put our team together and work as one to deliver a great guest experience. We learn something new every single day; we are learning and growing together.”
When asked about what challenges that she’s faced, managing a brand new hotel, Ashley said: “I don’t like to call them challenges. I think they’re just learning experiences, teachable moments. Had we not gotten feedback from our guests, we would not have been able to change certain things for the better!”
Already in their first month of business, they have seen a wide range of clientele come through their doors. “So far we’ve had a guest that was recovering from surgery, we had a family that checked in today who is getting their flooring re-done, and a couple of weeks ago, we had a couple stay with us whose apartment building had just burnt down. So, we see people from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell” says Ashley. Hearing the guests’ stories and feedback is her favorite part of the job, and she and her staff love making sure that the hotel is accommodating for each and every guest’s needs.
Home2 Suites prides itself not only on being flexible for all of their guests, but also “lead[ing] the industry with sustainable practices that deliver great guest experiences and protect the world in which we live, work and play.” Home2 Suites is paving the way in the hospitality industry, towards integrating more eco-friendly practices into the day-to-day functions of a hotel, as well as incorporating sustainable designs into their infrastructures and décor. Home2 Suites Milwaukee Airport was built using eco-friendly construction materials and designed using recycled materials, including the carpet, countertops, and desk chairs. Their continental breakfasts are served on real china, in order to keep plastic plates and utensils out of landfills.
There are 110 rooms in the Home2 Suites Milwaukee Airport, all of which come furnished with a kitchenette and pull-out sofa. Because many people stay at this hotel for extended periods of time, they may need to wash their clothes or use the dishwasher. All of the hotel’s appliances have Energy Star ratings, using significantly less energy and water than traditional appliances. The hotel also uses Tide Coldwater to wash their linens, which uses 50% less energy than most detergents. Each room is equipped with a recycling bin and soap/shampoo dispensers in the shower, instead of travel size bottles that oftentimes generate extra waste.
Ashley is looking forward to getting more involved with the Gateway to Milwaukee, once she settles in more, and is excited to see what we have planned for 2016! “Even working at Hilton Garden Inn, I went to a few meetings, and there is great comradery between hotels, which is huge! All of the hotels in the area, have each other’s backs, even though they are in competition with one another,” says Ashley.
Because of Home2 Suites’ focus on sustainability efforts and their commitment to helping the environment, the Home2 Suites Milwaukee Airport, hosted its Official Grand Opening on Friday, April 22, Earth Day. We are proud to have such an innovative company in our district; welcome to the Gateway, Home2 Suites!