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Managing the Hotel Digital World

Mark Ricketts, President & COO, McNeill Hotel Company has a new article published on Click the link to read the article.

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Smart Investment Strategies - Lodging Magazine

Mark Ricketts, COO was quoted for the latest article in Lodging Magazine, "After the Boom: Smart Investment Strategies for Today's Reality". Click the link below to read the article.

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Cultivate the "Wider Resources" of Hospitality Sales & Marketing

June 3, 2018
By Mark Ricketts, President & COO, McNeill Hotel Company

Keeping the rooms of a hotel property fully occupied with guests that we serve well and from which we generate a reasonable profit is no easy task. It requires a sound operating model; a skilled and motivated staff at all levels of the organization; and lots of elbow grease, i.e. hard work. It also takes getting our name, as an individual property and as an organization or affiliated group of properties, out there loud and clear. To read the full article click the link below.

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Hear from Chris Ropko in Hotels' Investment Outlook

May 29, 2018

Chris Ropko, CFO McNeill Hotel Company, is quoted in Hotels' Investment Outlook for June 2018. Follow the link to read the full article entitled "Shining a Spotlight on US Development".

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Checking In with Mark Ricketts - Lodging Magazine

May 18, 2018

Find out Mark Ricketts' thoughts on delivering excellent guest service, the competitive hotel market, and the current trends in the hotel industry. Follow the link to read the article in Lodging Magazine.

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AFTER THE BOOM - Lodging Magazine

May 16, 2018 - Lodging Magazine

Check out the latest article in Lodging Magazine that features our TownePlace Suites Auburn and a quote from Mark Ricketts, our President & COO. Click the link below to read the article.

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Towneplace Suites Auburn Wins Multiple Marriott Awards

AUBURN, AL, May 1, 2018 – The TownePlace Suites hotel in Auburn, Alabama has been officially recognized by Marriott, earning multiple prestigious awards for the McNeill Hotel Company property. 
General Manager Emily White has earned Marriott’s Diamond GM of the Year Award for 2017 and staff member Mary Munday has earned Marriott’s Service Team Member of the Year Award for 2017.

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Beth Burns Named Marriott's Diamond GM of the Year for 2017

HATTIESBURG, MS, May 1, 2018 – The TownePlace Suites hotel in Hattiesburg, Mississippi has been officially recognized by Marriott, earning two prestigious awards for the McNeill Hotel Company property. 
General Manager Beth Burns has earned Marriott’s Diamond GM of the Year Award for 2017.  The hotel also won Marriott’s Golden Circle Award.  Previously, the TownePlace Suites Hattiesburg had earned Marriott’s “Opening Hotel of the Year” award, as well as the “Sales Ramp Up” award, selected by the Select Service & Extended Stay Hotels Group – The Americas.

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Fairfield Inn & Suites Destin Wins Marriott's Bruce Reed Rally to Serve Award

DESTIN, FL, May 1, 2018 – The Fairfield Inn & Suites in Destin, Florida has been officially recognized by Marriott, earning the Bruce Reed Rally to Serve Award for the McNeill Hotel Company property. 
Marriott’s Bruce Reed Rally to Serve Award is a singular honor, given to only one Fairfield Inn & Suites property each year in recognition of its community contributions. 
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The latest from Mark Ricketts - Making the New Hire Our Smart Hire

Making the New Hire Our Smart Hire
By Mark Ricketts President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotel Company | April 15, 2018

It’s been reported that millennials decide within their first 48 hours with an organization whether they will stay on for an extended period of time. Talk about first impressions being the most lasting!
This article will discuss some best practices and ideas in making any new hire feel welcome to a hospitality organization while “coming up to speed.” It will also consider strategies and techniques that will help keep unproductive misconceptions or misunderstandings from arising between employer and employee. Click the link below to read the full article at

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Chris Ropko Joins McNeill Hotel Company as CFO

Germantown, TN, March 19, 2018 – McNeill Hotel Company, a growing nationally-recognized hotel owner, developer, and manager, announced today that it has hired respected industry executive Chris Ropko to serve as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Phillip McNeill, CEO of McNeill Hotel Company, made the announcement.
Prior to joining McNeill, Ropko served as Managing Director at RobertDouglas, a national hospitality investment banking platform, where he focused on structuring and raising debt and equity capital for lodging and specialty leisure properties, portfolios and companies throughout the Americas in excess of $2.5 billion.

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Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis Germantown - Wall of Fame

February 8, 2018

The new Hampton Inn and Suites Germantown has been honored with the Wall of Fame Award for the Third Quarter of 2017! Based on overall TQS, this award honors only the top 15% of hotels in the Hampton brand. "Our guests are enjoying the new hotel and they know that we love having them here." Rebecca Thompson GM.

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Everyday Brand Management - Mark Ricketts

December 03, 2017

​Mark Ricketts, President & Chief Operating Officer of McNeill Hotel Company has written an article that was published in Hotel Business Review. "In its purest sense, a brand is a promise to consumers; an expectation of performance and an overall experience."

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Hampton Inn Southaven-Newly Renovated

Southaven, MS, November 6, 2017 – Renovations at the Hampton Inn in Southaven, Mississippi have been completed and McNeill Hotel Company recently hosted a “Renovation Celebration” event to mark the occasion.
The extensive hotel renovation included a complete refresh of the exterior façade. Each of the hotel’s 86 guest rooms was updated to include all new soft seating, case goods, LG 43” televisions, and mattress sets and the bathrooms were renovated to incorporate the new Forever Young Initiative elements.

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Hotel News Now - Quote from Kim Knop, VP Sales and Marketing

November 2, 2017

Hotel News Now: For 2018, the local market position in the current pricing cycle varies based on city location and demand, said Kim Knop, VP of sales and marketing at McNeill Hotel Company. The national averages project rate increases of 3% to 5%, she said, but some cities will see higher rate changes, such as 8% to 15%, based upon location and seasonal demand.

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Revenue Management Today: Balancing People and Processes

October 9, 2017,
Mark Ricketts recently had an article published in Hotel Executive magazine. Here is an excerpt "The analytical side of the hospitality business is also extremely complex. At the heart of the income side of operations is deciding at what price to offer a room (of which we have a fixed number) and the allocation of them, which rooms and for how long.
It's no easy chore. There are so many factors over which operators have no real control. These include everything from weather events, flight cancellations, or changes in plans by prospective guests to expansions and contractions of supply in certain markets or the pricing strategies of competitors." To read the full article click the link below.

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McNeill Hotel Company Made the List

September, 27 2017
We are thrilled to announce that McNeill Hotel Company was recently ranked #64 in Hotel Business magazine's "2017 Owners & Developers Annual Ranking" listing. The list ranks the top 102 Owners and Developers for the year based on total number of hotels and hotel rooms in their portfolio.
“This year's annual ranking is the result of our numbers as of May 31, 2017; thus, it does not take into consideration the recent addition of our three incredible hotels in the Mountain states! It's safe to say we will be climbing the ranks in next year's edition!” – Mark Ricketts, COO


Hampton Inn & Suites Destin "Fishing for Sales"

September 2017 - Destin, FL

Destinie Collins, GM of the Hampton Inn & Suites Destin, was recently featured in Hello Hampton. She discusses unique sales techniques used by her team. The article can be found on page 4.

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Hampton Inn & Suites Destin Does It Again

Sept 12, 2017 - Destin, FL
Hampton Inn Destin has been recognized again with the Wall of Fame award for the First Quarter of 2017. The award is presented to the top 15% of the hotels under the Hampton brand.

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MHC Acquires 3 Hotels in the Mountain States

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. – July 19, 2017 – McNeill Hotel Company announced today that it has acquired three hotels in the Mountain states, adding to the company’s growing portfolio and significantly expanding its geographic footprint.
The three hotels are:
 110-room Homewood Suites in Boise, Idaho
 107-room Hilton Garden Inn in Twin Falls, Idaho
 106-room Hampton Inn and Suites in Salt Lake City - West Jordan, Utah

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Hampton Inn Destin Honored with Wall of Fame Award

May 22, 2017- Destin FL,
Hampton Inn & Suites Destin has received the Wall of Fame Award for Fourth Quarter 2016. This award recognizes the top 15% of hotels in the Hampton brand.

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MHC Earns Coveted Guest Satisfaction Excellence Award From Marriott

McNeill Hotel Company, a nationally-recognized hotel owner, developer, and manager, received the 2017 “Guest Satisfaction Excellence Award – TownePlace Suites Brand” at the recent Marriott Connect 2017 Select Brands Owners Conference.

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Hampton Inn & Suites - Now Open

Hampton Inn & Suites Germantown is Now Open - Reserve your room today. The much anticipated opening of the newest Hampton Inn in the Mid-South is now complete. Guests will love the well appointed lobby and guest rooms with local flair and added detail that exceed expectation.

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Towneplace Suites Hattiesburg - Awards

HATTIESBURG, MS, April 19, 2017 – The TownePlace Suites hotel in Hattiesburg, Mississippi has been officially recognized by Marriott with two prestigious awards for the TownePlace flag that acknowledge its status as one of the company’s top hotels in the United States.

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McNeill Hotel Company Retains RobertDouglas to Raise Joint Venture Capital

Memphis, TN, March 20, 2017 - McNeill Hotel Company, a nationally-recognized hotel owner, developer, and manager, announced today that it has retained the investment banking firm, RobertDouglas, to raise an initial commitment of $50 million of joint venture capital to accelerate the roll-out of the firm’s growing portfolio of strategically-located, premium select-service hotels. 

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The Timing is Right

GERMANTOWN, TN—With two years under its belt and 14 properties in the portfolio – and two more on the way – McNeill Hotel Company is aiming to take on third-party management contracts.

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Hunter Conference: Companies target paths to growth

Leaders from HVMG, McNeill Hotel Company and Meyer Jabara Hotels spoke with HNN during the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference about their growth strategies at this point in the lodging cycle. 

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Building for success, lean and nimble.

When McNeill Hotel Company launched almost two years ago, the Germantown, Tennessee based hotel management company started with one hotel, a Residence Inn in Morgantown, West Virginia. Today, the growing owner/operator’s portfolio consists of thirteen hotels, and another breaking ground recently in Athens, Georgia.
For McNeill President/COO Mark Ricketts, the decision to choose M3 as the company’s accounting and analytics platform of choice was an easy one. Years prior, Mark and his father, Tom Ricketts, saw M3 as a way for them to get to the next level with Master Hospitality, a small hotel company with ten hotels.
Back then, it was a way for us to be more sophisticated,” Mark explained. “Instead of the old-fashioned way of everyone sending in data and having an admin put it on a spreadsheet, it was web-based, so when you traveled, everything was accessible.”
As Mark’s career progressed from Master to vice president and senior vice president of asset management roles at Equity Inns and Archon Hospitality, his exposure to the M3 platform broadened, as several management companies overseeing hotels he asset managed used M3 in ways he hadn’t previously experienced, giving him a better knowledge of the hotel accounting software’s capabilities and solidifying his decision to incorporate the M3 platform into his own company.
“When we started McNeill, the decision to go with M3 was a no brainer, as we knew we liked the capabilities, the richness of the reports, and the ability to customize different reports, not to mention the ease with which we could review data online.”
As Mark and McNeill CEO Phillip McNeill and CFO Mark Layne put the company together, one of their goals was to maintain a lean structure from the corporate office side. To accomplish this, McNeill was one of the first management companies to take advantage of M3’s service offering, M3 Professional Services. With M3PS, a team of two accounting professionals handle the day-to-day accounting functions remotely for McNeill, led by McNeill’s Vice President of Hotel Accounting, Mary Jean Campochiaro. It’s an arrangement that has allowed McNeill to grow quickly and not be burdened by recruiting and hiring experienced hotel accounting staff.
“We can’t underscore the importance of M3 to our company as we’ve built our objectives, game plan and strategies,” concluded Ricketts. “We’ll only be as successful as this accounting platform, and with an open level of communication, M3 has been a major part of McNeill’s growth, from a single hotel to thirteen properties and growing."

Plans Revealed for Massive Germantown Project

Memphis-based Elkington Real Estate Group is partnering with two out-of-town developers on a massive mixed-use project for Germantown.
Carter & Associates LLC, an Atlanta-based developer that has made $1.2 billion in real estate investments since 2005, has filed plans with the city of Germantown for a $200 million mixed-use development on 32 acres west of Saddle Creek.
Fletcher Elkington, who will be in charge of the development's real estate component, told the Memphis Business Journal that the city should be excited about Carter coming to town.
"Carter is a national developer," Elkington said. "They have a sterling reputation. … To have a national group like Carter is very significant for Memphis."
Elkington said the development's retail space will feature multiple concepts that will be new to Tennessee. With Carter's reputation and the scale of the project, Elkington said the development is akin to something that would be built in Nashville right now. He declined to discuss other aspects of the project, deferring to his father, John, who could not immediately be reached for comment.
The other out-of-town developer on the project is Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc., out of Cincinnati.
The Carter development will be just east of Gill Properties' $90 million TraVure project, which has broken ground in Germantown at its boundary with Memphis.
Other groups had previously worked to develop the land, including Poag & McEwen, the developers of Saddle Creek.
Jacob Steimer covers CRE, manufacturing, finance and nonprofits for MBJ.

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Thornwood Developers ready for next phase in Germantown

Developers of Thornwood, a mixed-use project along South Germantown Road that embodies Germantown's smart growth planning strategy, have applied for a building permit for the next phase. Included in the new phase, according to Ray, will be 34,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the first floor and 25 high-end apartments on the second. Garage-level parking would accommodate about 190 vehicles.

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McNeill Hotel Company Breaks Ground on Homewood Suites in Athens, GA

McNeill Hotel Company held official groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel. McNeill is building the all-suite property.

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Home2 Suites Destin Grand Opening

The 112-room extended stay hotel, which officially opened on Dec. 15, offers a kitchen in every room, complete with a refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and garbage disposal. The hotel has a pool, fitness center, laundry center and Wi-Fi. It is also pet friendly and provides a full menu complimentary breakfast.

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Home2 Suites Waco Certified "Crime-Free"

WACO, TX (KXXV) -A Waco hotel is being recognized for being the first hotel to be certified as "crime-free." 

The Waco Police Department will be presenting Home2 Suites by Hilton as a crime-free hotel on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The hotel is located at 2500 Bagby Ave. 

Home2 Suites is the first hotel in Waco to complete the three phase program. 

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Starbucks to open across from TownePlace Suites Auburn

Auburn residents could be sipping coffee at the city’s first stand-alone Starbucks as soon as mid-spring, according to the developer.

The coffee franchise, along with an AT&T service store, will appear in front of the new TownePlace Suites on South College Street.

The two stores will be a part of a “mini strip,” with each space being about 2,000 square feet, according developer Michael Delaney of Delaney Development Inc.

Rodney Rowan, of Stewart Perry Construction, said the construction deadline is set for February, after which the construction company will hand the buildings over to Starbucks and AT&T for final touches.

Delaney said the location in front of the hotel is a “good fit” for the Starbucks store, which will include a drive-thru. It will allow the coffee shop to attract hotel guests, students and those headed to work in the city, he added.

Auburn is also home to several local coffee shops, including Toomer’s Coffee Company that is nearly across the street from where the new Starbucks will sit.

But Delaney believes the two types of coffee shops — small-business and franchise — can coexist.

“I think people are going to get coffee where they want to get coffee,” whether that’s Starbucks or a local shop, he said. “I don’t think it will adversely affect anyone.”

Auburn has three other Starbucks locations, two of which are on the University campus. The third location arrived with the summer renovation and expansion of the Kroger on Dean Road.

By Chip Brownlee | Community Editor | The Auburn Plainsman

Staks of Pancakes headed to Germantown

Bailey is opening a second Staks location in Germantown as part of the mixed-use Thornwood development at 1696 S. Germantown Road. This unique pancake house will be in walking distance of the Hampton Inn & Suites Germantown.

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First Annual General Manager's Conference

Destin, FL - December 12, 2016 - McNeill Hotel Company held its first Annual General Manager’s conference in Destin, FL last week at the beautiful Hampton Inn & Suites. All 14 property General Managers and the MHC Corporate team gathered to take part in tactical meetings and exchange ideas during the conference. Vendors also joined, including M3 Accounting + Analytics, Avendra LLC, American Hotel, and Quore.

The week began with a Welcome Reception in the hotel’s courtyard area with live music by Chris Alvarado and words from Mark Ricketts, President/Chief Operating Officer, and Phillip McNeill Jr, Chief Executive Officer, to kick start the conference. Morning and afternoon sessions were held throughout the week discussing various focuses; featured sessions included Marketplace Chaplains, the largest provider of workplace chaplains. The week concluded with an Awards Dinner at Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House sponsored by M3 Accounting + Analytics.

Mark Ricketts said, “After an unprecedented year of growth in 2016, the Awards Dinner afforded us the opportunity to recognize our truly outstanding performers. We are privileged to have an incredible group of Managers as everyone was equally worthy of commendation. We recognized the following accomplishments: Hotel of the Year: Hampton Inn & Suites Destin, New Hotel of the Year: TownePlace Suites Auburn, Revenue Champion of the Year: Hampton Inn Athens, Community Service Hotel of the Year: TownePlace Suites Hattiesburg, Guest Satisfaction Champion of the Year: Home2 Suites Waco, General Manager of the Year: Rebecca Thompson at Fairfield Inn & Suites Olive Branch.”

The conference was a great success and the planning for next year’s event is already in progress. 

New Home2 Suites by Hilton Property Arrives in Destin

DESTIN, Fla. and MCLEAN, Va. – December 1, 2016 – Home2 Suites by Hilton, part of Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) industry-first All Suites portfolio, announced today its newest property, Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin. Offering 112 suites, the hotel is designed for travelers looking for a fresh, new stay experience and compliments the city’s tourism growth, which was up 14.6 percent over 2015, a record-breaking year for the destination.
“For years, Destin has been a favorite Destination for families, business, military and government travelers in the Southeastern United States,” says Amanda Krueger, general manager. “Whether enjoying our daily complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi or dipping your toes in our world-famous emerald waters and sugar white beach sand, Home2 Suites focus is to provide our guests top notch service, convenience and accessibility at a great value.”
Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin is centrally located south of U.S. Highway 98 at 14060 Emerald Coast Parkway, just steps away from several public beach accesses.  The extended stay hotel provides convenient access to Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, award winning golf courses, Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park, the Destin Fishing Village on the full-service harbor, world-class shopping at Destin Commons and Silver Sands Outlet Mall, dinning at many local fresh “Catch of the Day” gulf inspired restaurants and Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS).
Owned by CM Destin, LLC and managed by McNeil Hotel Company, LLC, Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin offers guests all-suite accommodations featuring fully-equipped kitchens and modular furniture allowing for guests to personalize their room. The hotel also features easy access to technology with complimentary internet, inviting community spaces, eco-friendly and trademark Home2 Suites amenities such as Spin2 Cycle, a combined laundry and fitness area, Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items, and the Inspired Table, a complimentary breakfast that includes more than 400 potential combinations. Guests can also enjoy the Florida sunshine sparkling beside the infinity saltwater pool and host a cookout at the barbeque grill area. The new property is also pet-friendly. Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin is where you can be free to be you. 
“The Destin market has long been a favorite for the McNeill family for decades,” said Mark Ricketts, President/COO, McNeill Hotels and Phillip McNeill Chairman/CEO.  “The location of the hotel with its close proximity to the beach and the various amenities of the market made it a perfect fit for our company. We are excited to add another quality lodging product to the area.”
Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin participates in Hilton’s award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Home2 Suites by Hilton Destin or call +1 850-650-3500.

Home2 Suites By Hilton Waco Grand Opening Celebration

Home2 Suites by Hilton – Waco, part of Hilton Worldwide’s industry first All Suites portfolio, will celebrate the grand opening of its property located at 2500 Bagby Avenue in Waco. The property is owned and managed by Tennessee-based McNeill Hotel Company, LLC, and is their first hotel in the State of Texas. Local officials from both the Greater Waco Chamber and the Greater Hewitt Chamber will attend a joint ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a welcome reception and exclusive property tour hosted by our hotel team members.
Home2 Suites by Hilton – Waco is located on the site where University High School once stood. Because of this, we would like to honor the lineage that we inherited by including students from University High School in our ceremony. The US colors will be presented by University High School Army JROTC, led by First Sergeant Leonard Montelongo Jr.
The University High School Cheerleaders will also be in attendance. Both will be welcoming attendees.
Home2 Suites is a new, stylish open-concept hotel. Our trademark colors include vibrant greens, purples, and oranges, working in tandem to create a welcoming yet unique space perfect for both businesses and families. For this event, we wanted to showcase the local flavor of Waco by inviting renowned artist Jesus Rivera to display his works. Wolfe Florist will be providing the arrangements for the event as well, creating a fresh environment for your enjoyment.
We are committed not only to celebrating the culture and uniqueness of our community but to help grow and support it as well. That is why, as part of Home2 Suites by Hilton’s Your2 Hands initiative, we are donating $1,000 to The Shepard’s Heart Food Pantry in Waco, as well as holding an ongoing food drive benefiting The Shepard’s Heart this holiday season. Home2 Suites by Hilton welcomes every member of the family as our guest, including the four-legged ones. To this end, we will be partnering with the McLennan Animal Rescue Coalition by having on-site adoptions during our grand opening event.

Newly Renovated Fairfield Inn & Suites Olive Branch

The Fairfield Inn & Suites Olive Branch just completed a renovation. You will find new carpet, paint, furniture, lighting, and design elements. Click the link below to see pictures on Facebook. 

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Congratulations Mark Ricketts

Our President/COO, Mark Ricketts, was recently selected to join the Home2 Suites “Owners Advisory Council”. As a member of the Home2 Suites OAC, the group focuses on driving revenue, enhancing loyalty and maximizing profitability for the entire system of hotels by leveraging each members experience with the Home2 Suites brand. McNeill Hotels will have two Home2 Suites open by the end of 2016 – the Home2 Suites Waco, TX and the Home2 Suites Destin, FL.

 Mark was also a founding member in the Hampton “Brand Operations Council” (BOC) in 2000 and still serves on the Council today.