The owner of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott on U.S. Highway 40 is seeking the city's permission to add 23 suites to the rear of the hotel's right wing.

Photo by Tom Ross

The owner of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott on U.S. Highway 40 is seeking the city's permission to add 23 suites to the rear of the hotel's right wing.

Fairfield Inn seeks to add 23 suites

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— The owners of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Steamboat Springs are seeking city approval to add 23 suites to the 65-room hotel, but a decision to build the addition likely won't come until the economic recovery is further along.

"We probably won't start until next August if everything is doing well," owner Bob Amin said. "Hopefully, the economy is going to go up. Our Christmas reservations are pretty strong - comparable to 2007."

Amin purchased the hotel in 2006 for between $3.5 million and $4 million. He previously had developed the former Days Inn and operated it for years before selling it. The property now is branded a La Quinta Inn.

At the same time the Fairfield is contemplating an expansion, its next-door neighbor, Holiday Inn Steamboat Springs, is poised to undertake the addition of 35 suites next month.

The Fairfield Inn is three stories tall and totals 37,300 square feet. It has 13 rooms on the first floor and 26 each on the second and third floors.

The addition would add five guest rooms and a 1,000-square-foot conference room on the main level, plus nine additional rooms on the second and third floors, bringing the combined building square footage to just more than 50,000 square feet.

The addition would be built on the back of the east wing, minimizing visual impact on passing motorists on U.S. Highway 40.

Fairfield General Manager David Bradshaw said that of the existing rooms at the hotel, 60 percent are suites. However, they were designed primarily to meet the needs of business travelers. The new rooms will be suites designed to meet the needs of ski vacationers who need room for a family to spread out with their gear for an extended stay.

"We have a leisure market, for the most part," Bradshaw said.

While the existing suites offer a single king-size bed and in some cases a small dining table, the new suites will offer two king-size beds along with a microwave and a refrigerator.

Amin said the hotel business constantly is evolving - his guests now expect flat-screen TVs and granite vanities. When the addition is built, all of the rooms will be remodeled to fit those standards, he said.

The hotel also has begun offering a hot breakfast.

Bradshaw said the intent is to meet the needs of guests who stay an average of 3.5 days, a little longer than the average for the entire Fairfield chain.

The small conference center will help the property accommodate small conferences, often hosted by energy companies, during the winter, Bradshaw added.

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