Downtown Springfield hotel, popular with business travelers, sold

A downtown Springfield hotel has been sold for about $5.6 million after being owned by a Florida-based hospitality group for nearly five years.

Waramaug LS Hotels sold the 120-room Courtyard by Marriott, 100 S. Fountain Ave., earlier this month after purchasing it from the Turner Foundation in 2015. The hotel’s new owner is First SOC LLC, a domestic limited liability company that officially acquired the property on Jan. 2.

Becky Krieger — the general manager of the Courtyard — said her staff was officially rehired under the new company and they saw that transition in December. She added that the daily operations of the hotel are expected to stay relatively the same.

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First Hospitality, a property management firm based in Illinois, will oversee operations in Springfield. Before the sale, the hotel was managed by Interstate Hotels and Resorts, a hotel management firm headquartered in Texas.

Krieger said renovations are planned for the hotel later this year that will target guestrooms as well as the lobby. She said those renovations are “more or less” mandated by Marriott International.

“It will breathe new life into our hotel,” Krieger said of the sale.

She said the hotel has an average occupancy rate of 70%. The hotel sees a number of its business stemming from corporate accounts, both local and national. However, Krieger said guest check-in for a variety of different reasons.

The hotel first opened in 1990 as the Springfield Inn before becoming affiliated with Marriott International in 2004 as part of its Courtyard brand, which offers a variety of mid-price ranged hotels focused on the business crowd but can also accommodate families.

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However, the hotel was on the verge of bankruptcy in the early 2000s, the News-Sun reported, before transforming into a meeting place and popular destination for business travel amid growing efforts to revitalize downtown Springfield.

The hotel also saw a major renovation by the Turner Foundation before it sold the property.

When it was purchased for $6.5 million by Waramaug in 2015, a representative of that company described the downtown Springfield hotel as a good fit because it’s location could draw both business and leisure travelers. The property also had a history of steady business at the time.

Chris Schutte, the vice-president of destination marketing and communications for the Chamber of Greater Springfield, previously told the News-Sun that the hotel is a key asset in downtown Springfield, along with the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center and the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

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By the numbers:

120 — Rooms at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel

$5.6 million — Amount it was sold to First SOC LLC

1990 — Year the hotel first opened as the Springfield Inn

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