The Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen was recently presented with a HGI Strong, Brighthearted Award. This achievement recognizes the top one percent of Hilton Garden Inns in the region based on guest experience.
Doors opened last December on this third hotel developed by the McPeake family. The $15 million facility features 103 guest rooms, an in-house restaurant, bar, and 1,500-square-foot conference center. It serves as the family’s flagship alongside the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton and TownePlace Suites by Marriott properties, located behind Aberdeen Commons shopping center off U.S. 15-501.
“This award is based on guest experience. That makes it so special to us. It is nice to get recognition from Hilton that they think we are doing a good job. But it is important to us that our customers think we’re doing a good job,” said Bonnie McPeake.
When the hotel opened last winter, one of their primary concerns was recruiting staff.
“We were hiring a whole new staff at a terrible, probably the worst time ever,” McPeake said.
General Manager David Byers said they’ve been “very fortunate” with their hiring of food and beverage staff, and did not have as much difficulties as many other hotels when it came to retaining their housekeeping staff too. He estimated the facility is 95 percent staffed currently.
“We were able to hire really good people and that has been a big contributor to our success here,” Byer said.
Byer was the first person hired for the new facility. He was brought in prior to actual construction to assist with hotel operations, literally, from the ground up. Sammy McPeake, who oversees the family’s business operations, also visited the construction site nearly everyday throughout the process.
The Hilton Garden Inn primarily serves business travelers, including a lot of military, with a smaller proportion of leisure travelers in the mix.
McPeake said their occupancy rates and average daily rates (ADR) have far exceeded her initial projections. Moore County has been experiencing a resurgence in tourism and golfing interests, but that isn’t the only factor in play, she said.
“The key here is the brand. Hitlon and Marriott, to me, are the best brands and they drive business. For the hotel owner that is a lot of comfort. I don’t feel like I have to be here. I have a staff that I trust, and HIlton will make sure they have what they need to know to do well,” McPeake said.
The Hilton Garden Inn is located at 155 Hill Road in Aberdeen. For information or reservations, visit www.hilton.com or call (910) 692-0801.