JEFFERSONVILLE — An 85-room hotel has opened in a growing area of Jeffersonville near east 10th Street.
Fairfield Inn & Suites, a Marriott hotel, opened Sept. 2 at 3000 Gottbrath Parkway in Jeffersonville’s Bridgepointe Commons. The hotel is between the new Harbor & Hops restaurant and Xscape Theatres, the new movie theater that opened Aug. 27.
Jeffersonville Hotel One Partners, LLC owns the hotel, and it is managed by American Hospitality Management, Inc. According to partner Brandt Niehaus, the hotel’s proximity to River Ridge was a major factor in opening in Bridgepointe Commons.
“We know how much River Ridge is growing, and it seems like every few months another warehouse opens,” he said. “This will provide a business hotel for any people who are there right now. There are not very many business travelers now because of COVID, but in normal times, it would be for the business traveler making business trips and attending training.”
Brandon Davenport, director of sales at the hotel, said the hotel is implementing protocols for social distancing and enhanced cleaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel is using electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize surfaces throughout the hotel.
“We go through after the guests check out, we wait an hour and we sanitize, and then we wait another hour before they clean the room and we sanitize again,” he said. “We won’t check anyone into that room for another three hours. It’s been a little difficult, a little weird with all the rules, but honestly, it might be for the better in the future as far as cleanliness and things like that.”
Amenities at the hotel include a fitness room, outdoor swimming pool, meeting space, complimentary WiFi, valet laundry service, and a dining area offers complementary breakfast. The pool is currently closed, and the fitness center is open for appointments at limited capacity. The breakfasts are grab-and-go only amid the pandemic.
The room options include kings, double queens and executive king suites.
Niehaus said the timing of the hotel’s opening has created some challenges, since fewer people are traveling, and the hotel will probably be at 37% to 39% occupancy throughout 2020. In a normal year, it would probably be at an average of 60% occupancy.
“It’s probably going to be marginal through the winter into next spring until there is a vaccine and business travelers get back on the road,” he said. “I hope we do enough business to keep the bleeding at a minimum and get through the winter. Hopefully by next spring families start traveling and businesses are traveling more, and we’ll be able to have a normal summer in 2021.”
Davenport said getting business in the hotel has been a challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the hotel has to prepare for potential staffing challenges in case a staff member tests positive for COVID-19.
“Luckily we haven’t had anyone test positive, but it’s always in the back of our mind,” he said. “Even though we’re staffed and have a schedule, we make sure we’re flexible within that scheduling, because obviously if someone has been [exposed], we want them to get tested and also keep their distance until they receive their results.”
Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said the new hotel will create new revenue for the city and Greater Clark County Schools, and it’s a sign that “things are growing in the right direction.”
“In our TIF district, we’re giving 10% of the revenue to Greater Clark,” he said. “For a resident of the city, [the hotel] may be a facility they never use, but their children and family and life are going to be enriched by it. With hotels come nice restaurants, and anytime you can bring a national name-brand into the city, it’s always a positive.”
Despite challenges caused by COVID-19, the city still is seeing growth, Moore said, and he expects many other developments at Bridgepointe Commons over the next two years.
“Jeffersonville is still leading the way with a national name-brand opening and calling Jeffersonville home,” he said. “To me, I’m always trying to look 10 years, 20 years ahead — these are good times for the City of Jeffersonville, and we’re going to get past the struggle of COVID.”