Emily C. Tate, For The Miami Student

Nov. 15, the Hampton Inn opened in Stewart Square on South College Avenue. (Lisa Gehring | The Miami Student)

As Miami University students were packing up and preparing to head home for Thanksgiving break, the Hampton Inn, located on South College Avenue, opened the doors of its new red brick building Thursday Nov. 15.

The addition is receiving positive feedback from some students.

“When my family comes to visit, they have almost always had to seek accommodations outside of Oxford,” first-year Frankie Roskam said. “We’re hoping that the addition of the Hampton Inn will keep them closer to campus now.”

Visitors to Oxford are turning to Hamilton, Fairfield, West Chester and other neighboring towns for vacancy, according to Alan Kyger, economic development director for the City of Oxford. With the Hampton Inn’s 74 rooms – the second-most of all the hotels in Oxford, behind Hueston Woods’ accommodations – this new hotel will keep more families closer to Miami’s campus. There are now a total of 568 hotels rooms in Oxford, according to information from Kyger.

The Hampton Inn was built by Stewart Square Developers, who also built the Elms hotel, 75 S. Main St.

“Stewart Square Developers builds and manages hotels,” Kyger said. “They own The Elms hotel Uptown, which has been very successful and has the highest occupancy rate in Oxford. They figured that by building another hotel nearby, when one is filled, it can refer the other to customers looking to stay in town.”

According to Kyger, in 2004, when Stewart Square was first being developed, the building plan did not include a hotel. The commercial business filled in slower than expected so plans were redrawn to replace a parking lot with a hotel, according to Kyger. He also said the developers are now hoping to draw in something like Panera Bread, an insight that many Miami students will be excited to hear.

The Hampton Inn opened after the Miami Inn was transformed into upperclassmen housing this fall. Though the Marcum Conference Center was recently renovated to add 15 new hotel rooms, it does not compensate for the 52 lost to Miami students who moved in this fall.

Kyger said the Hampton Inn’s opening will do well in picking up the slack, while adding a net total of almost 40 new hotel rooms to the town of Oxford,

The Hampton Inn includes a complimentary hot breakfast, an indoor pool, a 24-hour business center, a 24-hour sweet shop (including popcorn, candies, ice cream, etc.) and a full fitness center – equipped with cardio machines with televisions (ellipticals, treadmills, stationary bicycles, etc.). The basement of the hotel was converted into an extra 35-space parking garage.

The management staff and employees of the Hampton Inn had been anticipating last week’s opening for many months.

“We will be getting a billboard on highway 27 in addition to our huge ‘NOW OPEN’ sign hanging from the third floor, but even through word of mouth and notifying other nearby hotels, we have been bombarded with phone calls already,” Susan Wilson, the assistant general manager, said.

The Hampton Inn is a quarter-mile away from Uptown Oxford and a half-mile from Miami’s Goggin Ice Center.

“The Hampton Inn is a beautiful project, and it’s already ramping up with reservations,” Pam Lindley, business operations administrator for Hotel Developmental Services, said.

Local businesses and community members are invited to the hotel’s Grand opening Dec. 5, according to Lindley.