Originally created 10/18/01

Downtown hotel fills market niche



The city's newest riverfront draw - a 136-suite hotel - officially opened for business Wednesday.

"The concept of an all-suite hotel is new to Augusta," Manager Darryl Leech said, adding the new concept fills a gaping hole in Augusta's hospitality market.

Country Suites Riverwalk Augusta, linked by a skyway to Radisson Riverfront Hotel Augusta, will have separate management and staffing crews.

But because the hotels are sister companies under Carlson Hospitality, they share the same computer system and corporate culture.

Coupled with the Radisson's newly expanded 45,000-square-foot convention center, the midpriced Country Suites will depend largely on group business while still catering to traditional tourists.

"It's a different product from Radisson, but the two are still comparable as far as quality is concerned," said Paul Kirwin, president of Country Inns & Suites by Carlson.

Reach John Bankston at (706) 823-3352 or john.banks@augustachronicle.com.