Motel marks 25th year

Keeping customers happy is essential to survival in today’s business world.

That’s been the key to success for the Super 8 Motel, 3535 Fairway Drive, which is celebrating 25 years in business in 2014.

“We keep the property in good working order and give the guests what they want,” said Dolly Kozlovac, general manager since 1998.

“Cleanliness is the biggest thing that guests look for. Our housekeeping and maintenance staffs do a great job. Keeping everything up to Super 8 specifications is what it comes down to – giving your guests a good quality stay,” she said.

The Super 8 was built by the Rivett Group of Aberdeen, S.D., and opened in April 1989. It was sold to Priyum Management LLC of Morganville, N.J., on Sept. 29, 2009. Super 8 is a franchise under Wyndham Worldwide.

The Altoona Super 8 was just the fifth Super 8 opened in Pennsylvania and was the last one in Pennsylvania to be sold by the Rivett Group, Kozlovac said.

The local Super 8 has 62 rooms, 47 of which are double rooms. All rooms feature mini-fridges, microwaves, coffee makers and hair dryers.

“We have flat screen TVs in the king and queen rooms, and they will be in all rooms by the end of the year,” Kozlovac said.

A breakfast addition, which seats 20, was added to the lobby in 2007. The Super 8 offers a free continental breakfast, which includes cereal, yogurt, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls, hard boiled eggs, juices and fresh fruit.

Summer is Super 8’s busiest season, and this year it is serving as the host for the visiting baseball teams in the Eastern League.

Hosting the baseball teams, which on average take up about 22 rooms per night, helps business, especially on week nights, Kozlovac said.

“The only drawback here is there is no eating facility within walking distance, although some of the baseball players walk down to Olive Garden,” Kozlovac said.

Super 8 offers a lot of advantages for the visiting teams, said Rob Egan, Altoona Curve general manager.

“It is close to the ballpark, across the street from our workout facility [ProCare Fitness], has a friendly staff and is an award-winning property with their Pride of Super 8 designation,” Egan said.

“We have received the Pride of Super 8 designation for 14 consecutive years,” Kozlovac said.

“You need to get an A through inspections to receive the pride designation, which comes from Super 8 Division of Wyndham Worldwide. It is very prestigious to be recognized.”

Egan said Super 8 has done a good job in meeting the needs of visiting teams as well as Curve players when they are in need of accommodations.

“There are special requests that come with being a host hotel for professional baseball teams, and they have really responded to the call with a ‘can-do’ attitude. The visiting teams have been very complimentary of the service and positive attitude provided by the Super 8 team,” Egan said.

In the fall, Super 8 draws a large number of Penn State football fans.

“We are only 45 minutes out of State College. Over there, they have two night minimums, and it costs over $200 a night. We have people who have been coming here since I’ve been here. They are like family,” Kozlovac said.

Local hoteliers work closely together.

“Altoona is one of the best places I have been in as far as communication and working together as far as hoteliers. In other towns where I have been in, there is no cooperation among hoteliers. Why the businesses do so well here is because we work together. When they fill up, they refer people here and vice versa,” Kozlovac said.

The Super 8 adds to the area’s reputation for having high-quality lodging properties said Joe Hurd, president and CEO of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce.

“Dolly Kozlovac and her staff do an exceptional job in making people feel welcome and comfortable,” Hurd said.

“As a Wyndham property, Super 8 adheres to exceptionally high standards. Too often they fall under the radar when local hotels are mentioned – unfortunate, because they have done a great job here for 25 years,” Hurd said.

Kozlovac is optimistic about the future of the Super 8.

“The owners are good and know what they have to do to keep the property up and make the necessary repairs. The staff is phenomenal and works well together. We have great teamwork. If you don’t work together, you don’t get anything done,” Kozlovac said.