New Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bellingham to reveal a whole new look for the brand

Dan Mitzel at the September 2015 IHG Owners Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Dan Mitzel at the September 2015 IHG Owners Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Once we roll this out, Holiday Inn brand will become relevant to the people in their 20s and 30s who weren’t alive when Kemmons Wilson started this whole thing back in the mid 50s”.

These are the words of Dan Mitzel, Hotel Services Group.  Mitzel has been engaged in an InterContinental Hotels Group taskforce for the past 18 months, a taskforce that has focused intensely on the Holiday Inn brand’s new design standards.  “Our investor group is excited about what’s coming, and we’re going to be the first to implement it in Bellingham.

Mitzel has developed and owned hotels for over 30 years, and is a major investor in the coming Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bellingham, WA International Airport (BLI).  Mitzel also owns M&H Contracting, the project General Contractor.  “We’re pouring concrete for the hotel right now, but we’ve intentionally been stalling the interior design portion of the project.  This is work that’s usually done as much as 12 months before we start site work, but our investor group made the decision to be part of the new IHG SRDs released on October 1st.

Along with the new SRD (Standard Room Design) to give the brand new full-service Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites the latest look and feel, the group is also developing a new restaurant concept from scratch.  Aptly named northwater cascade kitchen, the restaurant will present travelers and local residents with a refreshing combination of Pacific Northwest cuisine at competitive market prices that deliver high value with every bite.

For more information about the project, Mitzel encourages Ragan Humphrey be contacted at  Humphrey is currently serving the investor group as Director of Operations for the project.  Once the hotel opens, he will continue as the General Manager.  The hotel is currently targeting an opening date in early September, 2016.

Announcing Matthew Rosenthal, General Manager, Best Western PLUS – Arlington, WA

We are excited to announce that Hotel Services Group and the owner of the Best Western PLUS – Arlington have hired a General Manager.

Matthew Rosenthal has accepted the position as General Manager and is enthusiastic to return to the hospitality industry after successfully managing one of the top 10 cleaning franchises of the United States. With his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management and extensive management experience we’re excited to see the Best Western PLUS’s performance escalate to new levels.

Announcing the opening of Best Western PLUS – Arlington, WA

"VFMLID=59544099"We are excited to announce that the Best Western PLUS – Arlington, WA is officially open as of 2:30pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2014!

It’s been a fantastic opening project experience for HSG. We have tremendous appreciation for Tahnya Shafer, our General Manager. From her first day of work on January 2nd, Tahnya has presented an impressive degree of professionalism, organization and all around strong leadership throughout the entire pre-opening process, and she’s created a phenomenal team around her along the way. Special thanks to Andy Tift also, who has been HSG’s pre-opening lead and Tahnya’s key support person throughout the project.


M&H Contracting’s phenomenal team, led by Dave Smoots, Project Manager, has built a fantastic looking and quality hotel to be proud of. They make it look easy and routine. The Arlington community will undoubtedly see the Best Western PLUS Marysville/Arlington hotel as a great addition to the community; one to be proud of. Dan Mitzel, Principal of M&H Contracting calls it “a custom hotel” with finishes that extend beyond industry standards. It truly looks spectacular, thanks also to Sue Nemo’s hard work and design.

Raj Sandhu and his family have been fantastic to work with and we sincerely appreciate all the trust they have bestowed in us. This is Raj’s second hotel, and he and his family have committed a great deal to make sure that our guests are impressed and wish to return.

The Brand Team at Best Western International have been great to work with, providing clear guidance and timely support at all times.  Special thanks to Tom Keogh, Regional Service Manager and Amy Lowry, New Member Development Manager.

Jim Vandermey and his team at People’s Bank provided funding for the project, and there are many other key individuals like Rose Tjeerdsma, Jarrod Custer and Pam Leamer with M&H Contracting, and other partners and sub-contractors who have made this project a smooth success.

If you haven’t already, we hope you take an opportunity to visit the hotel in person very soon.

Click here to make your first referral! More photos will be available very soon.

Announcing Tahnya Shafer, General Manager, Best Western PLUS – Arlington

It is a great pleasure to announce that our new General Manager for our newest partner hotel has begun working on pre-opening activities for the Best Western PLUS – Arlington.

Shafer brings with her a strong background in hospitality management, including full service hotel General Management, Director of Sales, Revenue Management and much more. Outside the world of hospitality, Tahnya has also had an interesting stint in Human Resources Management that will undoubtedly benefit her in this business that is so highly dependent upon human potential!

The Best Western PLUS at Smokey Point in Arlington, WA is slated to open in April, 2014.

Announcing Ariel Schonberg, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Sumner

We are excited to announce that Hotel Services Group and the owners of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Sumner have hired a General Manager.

Ariel Schonberg is excited to return to the hospitality industry after successfully managing a multi-million dollar and award-winning clothing store in Marysville. She has extensive operational and management experience and has worked at both our Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Marysville and our Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington.

“We are excited to have Ariel at the helm in Sumner” says Lennart Bentsen, adding that “Ariel brings a strong combination of essential skills to the hotel and is exactly what we need”.

SOLD: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Burlington, WA

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Burlington, WA (HIEB) was sold by HSG Members Don DeBode and Dan Mitzel on Friday, June 28, 2013. HSG will no longer be overseeing the operation, so Friday was met with mixed feelings as we supported the transition to the new ownership team and said goodbye to our hotel team members.

The Burlington hotel has been a valuable contributor to HSGs success for 6 years, and we suspect that the hotel will continue to do quite well. The property was purchased by Mr. Chung Kim, whom we understand also participated in the purchase of the Best Western PLUS Cottontree Inn – Mount Vernon, WA on June 27, 2013. Mr. Kim has invited HIEB’s employees to remain on the team.

HSG is continuing to work on new opportunities, and see that the next few years are going to be busy.

Announcing C. Marshall Smith, General Manager, Best Western PLUS Harbor Plaza & Convention Center – Oak Harbor

Marshall Smith recently accepted the General Manager position at the Oak Harbor Best Western PLUS. HSG is excited to introduce Marshall to the team as he brings a strong history of over 20 years in hospitality sales and operations management. We look forward to seeing his goal-oriented leadership to solidify and grow our spirit of hospitality at the Best Western, and wish him the best of successes.

The Best Western will be undergoing a complete computer system upgrade in the coming weeks, a transition that Marshall is entirely comfortable with. The transition will be facilitated by HSG’s Hotel Performance Support Manager. This is one of many property improvement project that the ownership has committed to in recent months and years.

Hotel Services Group selected by Port of Bellingham to build a Full Service Holiday Inn

The Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners accepted a Letter of Intent agreement with Hotel Services Group, LLC. As reported by the Port of Bellingham, “Hotel Services Group is proposing construction of a Holiday Inn Hotel that would include: a full service restaurant, about 7,000 square feet of conference/meeting space, an indoor pool, underground and surface parking and approximately 156 guest rooms.

“The company estimates the construction cost for the facility would be approximately 18.5 million. It estimates that about 40 full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees would work at the completed hotel and another 40-50 would work in the restaurant.

“The proposed development site is approximately 3.77 acres of Port property, just south of the Pacific Cataract Laser Institute on Mitchell Way, across the street from the commercial air terminal. The proposed lease is for 50 years, with a 25- year renewal option. (read full press release)


Announcing Rachel Ralson, Director of Sales, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Marysville

We are excited to welcome Rachel Ralson back to Hotel Services Group on April 15, 2013. Rachel first joined Hotel Services Group in late 2008, but left our realm with the sale of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Everett in October 2012. Later this month, Rachel will be working with the team at Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Marysville to carry forward the success of this award winning hotel. Welcome home, Rachel!

Announcing Karen Mills, Director of Sales & Marketing, Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington

Karen Mills, formerly the Vice President, Member Services at the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce has joined the Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington as Director, Sales & Marketing. We are very excited about the array of skills and experience that Karen will bring to Hampton. Karen will be responsible for the overall Sales & Marketing function of the hotel, and she will work closely with the hotel team to ensure that product and service fulfillment exceeds our guest and client expectations.