By Matt Sheley, [email protected]
MIDDLETOWN, RI — A major player in the hospitality industry has purchased the Holiday Inn Express in Middletown.
Lafrance spokesman Matthew Shaffer said the Westport, Massachusetts, group is behind the deal for the hotel, which represents the firm’s first property in Rhode Island.
Lafrance’s cornerstone property is White’s of Westport, which opened more than 60 years ago, Shaffer said. The company owns close to two dozen hotels, fine-dining establishments and special-events facilities across the East Coast, including properties in Florida, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
“Newport is a premier destination and this hotel is in a great location in proximity to all its attractions,” Shaffer wrote in an email to The Daily News.
Shaffer said all but a handful of the existing employees at the Holiday Inn Express will be retained. There are now 15 employees in non-peak periods, compared to 25 in peak times of the year, Shaffer said.
As for future plans from Lafrance, Shaffer said customers won’t see any changes at first, but a complete renovation of the hotel and property is planned in late 2017. Lafrance is not planning other purchases on Aquidneck Island at this time, Shaffer said.
Among the work to be done includes full renovations of the guest rooms, the lobby, pool and fitness spaces and the outside of the building, which is across West Main Road from the Middletown Plaza shopping center.
According to the company’s website, 2016 was a busy year for Lafrance. In addition to the Holiday Inn Express, the Courtyard by Marriott Boston Littleton in Littleton, Massachusetts, the Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and the Residence Inn North Conway hotel in New Hampshire are now part of the Lafrance portfolio.