Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships last week hosted a ceremonial ribbon cutting at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston to celebrate the opening of the world’s largest Candlewood Suites as part of the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program.
The five-story, 153,685-square-foot hotel is designed as an extended-stay model with 310 studio and one-bedroom suites offering full kitchenettes and large work areas. Features include a swimming pool with patio pavilion; business, fitness and laundry facilities; daily hot breakfast; and a free on-post shuttle.
The Army launched the PAL program in 2009 to revitalize on-post lodging facilities for soldiers, their families and government travelers. The program announced its third and final phase in May 2013 following its successes to date achieved by the Army’s partners Lend Lease and IHG. Lend Lease is the exclusive owner, developer and asset manager for the Army’s entire lodging portfolio; IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is the hotel operator.
“With brands like Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites, we are truly creating a new standard in on post hotels,” said Marc Sierra, Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships Managing Director, according to a press release. “And it wouldn’t be possible without the Department of the Army’s foresight, passion and commitment to push forward an innovative privatization program focused on providing both immediate improvements and long-term sustainment of hotel assets for the next 50 years.”
The event also marked the completion of renovations and opening of a Holiday Inn Express at the joint base. In October, Lend Lease and IHG opened three Candlewood Suites hotels and two Holiday Inn Express hotels — a combined 1,015 branded hotel rooms — on military installations throughout the United States.
Upon completion, the $1 billion program will result in the construction or renovation of more than 11,600 hotel rooms across 39 installations nationwide.