By Marty Finley
– Reporter, Louisville Business First

Apr 18, 2018, 2:22pm

A $24 million dual-branded hotel opened this morning — just in time for Kentucky Derby week — offering traditional and extended-stay hotel rooms.

The 157-room TownePlace Suites and the Fairfield Inn & Suites is located on about 27 acres at 10241 Champion Farms Drive, near SpringHurst Towne Center. The property is off Westport Road behind two other hotels, the Residence Inn Louisville Northeast and the Courtyard Louisville Northeast.

The nearly 80,000-square-foot hotel has been under construction for about 13 months, and the rooms are split almost evenly between the two Marriott flags.

It is the latest in a roster of new hotels sprouting up in Louisville that now exceeds two dozen projects, and the dual-branded hotel is two of the half-a-dozen or more new hotels that have opened in the Louisville area in the past month alone.

The question has arisen if Louisville can sustain all these new hotel rooms, and city and tourism officials continue to point to numbers that show Louisville lags peer cities such as Nashville and Indianapolis in total number of rooms as a response.

TownePlace Suites is an extended-stay brand that offers full kitchens with stainless steel appliances and pull-out sofas in studio and one-bedroom layouts. The Fairfield Inn & Suites offers more standard hotel rooms with miniature fridges and microwaves. Some of the Fairfield rooms also have seating areas with couches. The rooms offer queen or king-sized beds, depending on the layout.

Although the two brands offer different experiences, they share a lobby lounge and check-in area as well as a fitness center, indoor pool, first-floor laundry facilities and an outdoor terrace that includes seating, televisions, a fire pit and grills.

Lauren Jenney, director of sales and marketing for the hotels, said weekend rates will typically range between $99 and $119 for the Fairfield Inn while the TownePlace Suites will typically be priced between $129 to $149. Weekday rates are slightly different but comparable, she said, and the hotel still has rooms available for Derby week.

Louisville Business First was invited to tour the new East End hotel Tuesday afternoon, and you can see the photos in the attached slideshow.

Poe Cos., led by longtime Louisville developer Steve Poe, developed the hotel in partnership with Indiana-based REI Real Estate Services and White Lodging Services, which also manages the hotel. Louisville-based Calhoun Construction Services Inc. was the general contractor.

This same development team recently opened the 133-room Homewood Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown, which debuted March 21 at 635 W. Market St. That hotel offers another extended-stay downtown option for business and leisure travelers a short walk from Museum Row.

The Homewood Suites was developed by Poe Cos., REI and White Lodging in partnership with HBGM Partners — a company controlled by Louisville businessman Tim Mulloy and his brothers, Pat and Mark Mulloy.

Poe and his partners also have broken ground on a dual-branded hotel project on Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville. It consists of Hotel Distil, an independent boutique hotel that is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, and the Moxy Hotel, an edgier Marriott brand that has gained a loyal following in Europe. That 14-story development is expected to cost more than $100 million. It will open in late 2019.