Business

Federal Way's new Hampton Inn and Suites opens in August, targeting businesses and families

The 80,000-square-foot Hampton Inn and Suites, located near South 317th Street and the Gateway Center Plaza, is due to open in August. The hotel will feature 142 guest rooms and amenities fitting for both families and business persons. - Jacinda Howard, The Mirror
The 80,000-square-foot Hampton Inn and Suites, located near South 317th Street and the Gateway Center Plaza, is due to open in August. The hotel will feature 142 guest rooms and amenities fitting for both families and business persons.
— image credit: Jacinda Howard, The Mirror

For the past 10 months, a new hotel has risen from the ground near Federal Way's downtown and South 317th Street.

The 80,000-square-foot, five-story Hampton Inn and Suites is nearly complete. Outside, the yellow wrapping on its sides has been replaced with orange wrapping, and is now being prepared for siding. Inside, workers are painting, installing lights, laying carpet and preparing to install the elevator. The project is expected to be complete by early August, just in time for Federal Way's World Champion of Sand Sculpting competition, scheduled for September.

The hotel will provide 142 guest rooms. Some are suites with two beds. Some feature an adjoining door to the next suite. Some rooms overlook Interstate 5 and provide views of Mt. Rainier. They all come standard with a 32-inch high-definition flat screen television, microwave and mini-refrigerator. The usual amenities like a blow-dryer, ironing board, etc., are also room staples.

The hotel will offer features geared toward both families and business persons. An indoor pool and whirlpool will be available to guests. A fitness center and a coin operated laundry room are included. Cribs, high-chairs and play pens will be other family options.

The Hampton Inn will have plenty for business travelers. Four meeting rooms, the largest able to accommodate up to 155 individuals in a theatre-type seating arrangement, are planned. In-house catering will be an option for gatherings. Access to faxing and copying services will also be provided.

The hotel's decor is already in the making. On some floors, carpet is installed and rooms painted. The hotel has a Northwest feel, with rich, neutral colors and touches of elegance, such as granite countertops and ceramic tile. In each room, three walls will be painted a solid color, while the bed's headboard will back up to a vintage-looking fourth wall.

The hotel is slightly larger than a typical Hampton Inn and will be operated as a franchise. Oregon-based Jansen Construction is building the structure. The company has experience constructing several hotels, many of them Hampton Inns.

The land and hotel are owned by Koong Cho and his wife Meelee Cho. The Chos bought the site in 2004, with the vision to build a Hilton-brand hotel, Koong Cho said this past August when construction on the hotel commenced. Federal Way's regional location, and the location of the property in proximity to Interstate 5, drew the Chos to the site, he said.

"Federal Way is currently positioned for significant growth, chiefly due to an increase in mid-size corporate business," he said. "This provides a superb market opportunity for this type and brand of hotel, as it meets all the needs of corporate travelers."

The privately built project, with Bellevue-based Royal Hospitality LLC as the developer, cost approximately $23 million. Two of Cho's existing hotels — one in San Diego and another in Phoenix — plus bank financing supplied the funds to build the hotel, he said.

Rim Hospitality, out of Modesto, Calif., is managing the business. The hotel will require approximately 40 full-time employees. About 90 percent of them have been hired, general manager Aimee Tylor said. Many of them have begun their training, she said.

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