Tammie Thompson-Booker, director of sales for Candlewood Suites, shows one of the new building's largest rooms, a one-bedroom suite with a separate living room. Thompson-Booker said she "fully expects" the hotel to be at "operating capacity" - 60 to 70 percent full - by the end of March.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Tammie Thompson-Booker, director of sales for Candlewood Suites, shows one of the new building's largest rooms, a one-bedroom suite with a separate living room. Thompson-Booker said she "fully expects" the hotel to be at "operating capacity" - 60 to 70 percent full - by the end of March.

Candlewood opens doors to guests

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Every room at Candlewood Suites in Craig has a kitchen - with stovetops, pots, pans and a toaster - and every guest can do his or her laundry at the free laundry service.

The front desk stocks a library of free movies, all viewable on high-definition, flat-screen TVs, found in each room.

There's even a small grocery store, stocked with food, drinks and ice cream, which guests can charge to their bill.

There are hotels and motels, and then there's Candlewood Suites, said Tammie Thompson-Booker, director of sales for Craig's newest lodging accommodations.

"We're an extended-stay hotel," Thompson-Booker said. "We're designed to accommodate people for longer than a few nights."

Rates for Candlewood's 76 rooms mirror others in Craig, she said, with the larger one-bedroom suites going for $139 a night and with queen bed studios coming in slightly cheaper.

The hotel includes many live-in features because it was built with Moffat County's semi-transient workforce in mind.

Energy company workers, whether building a pipeline or operating a drilling rig, need a place to stay for multiple weeks, sometimes months, Thompson-Booker said. Craig, though, doesn't have many apartments available for rent.

She added that recent news of energy companies vastly scaling back their Rocky Mountain operations isn't too worrisome. One energy company official already has reserved a room for about three months starting in January.

"There's still people that have to do work in the area," Thompson-Booker said. "And with the short supply of short-term rentals - or even rentals at all - I think we'll be OK."

Candlewood plans to operate with a staff of about 12, all of which has been hired, Thompson-Booker said. She added she was pleasantly surprised with how fast they were able to fill their workforce after receiving about 120 applications since September.

Although the hotel officially is open, there weren't any guests as of Friday. Thompson-Booker said rumors that Halliburton has contracted to rent portions of the hotel are false, and there are available rooms for relatives coming to town for the holidays.

"With that time of year coming up, this is the perfect place," she said. "It's nice, it's new, it's comfortable."

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