July 17th, 2019

comfort suites ribbon cuttingTom Willis of the Pinnacle Development group cuts the ribbon on the new Comfort Suites hotel Tuesday evening. Willis is joined by Chamber Ambassadors and Comfort Suites employees in celebrating the arrival of one of the newest lodging destinations in Liberal. L&T photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times


As Liberal continues to grow, so too does the need for lodging for visitors from out of town.

Part of that need was officially welcomed to town as the Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting at the newly completed Comfort Suites hotel.

Brooke Rogers, the general manager for the local franchise, said having new lodging in Liberal is a welcome sight for her.

“It’s nice to finally be open and get to have some new guests and people who I’m familiar with personally from Liberal,” she said. “I think it’s just been a blessing. I think it’s a great addition to Liberal.”

As the name indicates, all of the rooms at Comfort Suites are just that – suites, and Marketing Director Molly Basham said each room has a sofa bed that pulls out for guests.

Rogers said having the hotel next to an Old Chicago restaurant is a nice touch as well.

The Liberal Comfort Suites is owned by the local Pinnacle Developments group, which Comfort Regional Manager Linda Hall said purchased the land and made the decision to put the hotel on the north side of town.

“It was more of a unified decision between all of them,” she said.

Basham said building north also played a factor in putting the hotel where it is.

“There’s nothing out on this side of town, and Highway 83 is very busy,” she said.

The Liberal Comfort Suites has 80 rooms and a total of three meeting rooms.

“Two of the meeting rooms can be broken down into one or two, depending on the meeting size and meeting needs,” Rogers said.

This is the first Comfort Suites Hall said the regional office she represents has built, but there are other hotels in the area built by Comfort’s parent company, Choice Hotels.

“We have the Clarion, the Sleep Inn and the Heritage in Garden City, but nothing like the Comfort,” she said.

Rogers said as part of the Choice franchise, the company’s Choice Privileges points program is available in Liberal, and those points are transferable to other franchises.

The Liberal hotel is likewise the first to use the new Comfort Suites logo, something Basham called exciting.

With many companies only building in communities of certain sizes, Rogers said Comfort is one of few in the Choice Hotels chain in Southwest Kansas.

“The only hotels we currently have are in Garden City,” she said. “Garden City’s about 35,000, so when we came down here, it made sense to do the hotel and the Old Chicago together. After that, you just kind of base the amount of rooms you have off of projected room nights.”

Before Comfort Suites and Old Chicago were constructed, an IHOP franchise also made its way to Liberal, and much of the talk before that was reality was that IHOP would only locate to communities of a certain size. Basham said this is the case with many companies.

“Most franchises are that way,” she said. “They only operate in certain sizes.”

Part of Pinnacle Development’s plan was to construct both the Old Chicago and Comfort Suites at the same time, something Hall said she, Basham and Rogers knew was going to happen.

Hall did say, though, that Liberal’s Comfort Suites and Old Chicago is likely the last, at least for a while, combination of the two companies in Kansas, but there are others in towns outside of Liberal at this time.

“Nothing is in the works for anything concrete,” she said. “We have Old Chicagos in Lawrence and Salina, Liberal, Garden City, Manhattan.”

Comfort Suites is located at 2891 Centennial Blvd. in Liberal. For more information, call 620-626-5439.

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