For the first time in decades, a new hotel is open and accepting guests in downtown Flagstaff.
Steven Shumway, a co-owner of the Marriott Residence Inn on Humphreys Street, said when he and his brother, Shane, were researching a new location for their company’s eighth new hotel development, downtown Flagstaff stood out as the perfect place.
Downtown Business Alliance President Terry Madeksza said the hotel is one of the first private developments in the downtown area in the last 75 years. Heritage Square was created as a public-private partnership, and the Lumberyard Brewery was a redevelopment project, Madeksza said.
Shumway, the fourth-generation owner of the Show Low-based Whiting Brothers Investment Co., said Flagstaff’s proximity to home and the city’s downtown scene made the corner or Aspen Avenue and Humphreys Street the ideal location.
“We like to stay within a radius,” Shumway said. “Our research showed that Flagstaff, especially downtown Flagstaff, would be a good location for us.”
Downtown Flagstaff is already a draw for tourists, with an excess of 75 restaurants and nightlife activities within walking distance of the hotel, he said.
“People come to Flagstaff and they love to be downtown,” Shumway said. “It’s become quite a fun place to be and to hang out.”
The hotel itself has 110 rooms, each equipped with a kitchenette. The first floor includes a fitness center and a pool and spa. Breakfast is included for each room, and the patio on the south side of the building has a barbeque grill and outdoor fireplace area for guests to use. The hotel will also cook dinner about three times per week for guests to buy if they choose, Shumway said. Rooms on the north side of the building boast views of the mountains as well as the historic district.
The hotel features a total of 112 parking spaces, with most located in the parking lot on the south side of Aspen Avenue, and the other spaces located in the lot behind the hotel. The hotel is an “extended stay” hotel, meaning the longer a person stays at the hotel, the cheaper the rate gets, Shumway said. For people looking to stay for a weekend, Shumway said prices start at about $159 per night.
So far, the reaction to the completed hotel has been positive, he said.
“I had a neighbor come in the other day, and she was initially opposed to it,” he said. “But she said, now that she can see it completed, she sees how well it fits. I’m sure there are some people who are still opposed to it, but it’s nice to at least hear that.”
Building in downtown brought an extra level of sensitivity to the project, Shumway said.
“I think people were worried that this was going to ruin the downtown,” he said. “But we’ve been super happy with the response we’ve gotten.”
The hotel was under construction for about 16 months before it opened September 12, Shumway said. The project required demolishing a rental car business, office building and restaurant that were located on the site. Porter Brothers, a general contractor based in Gilbert, built the hotel for Whiting Brothers, which purchased the franchise from Marriott to get permission to use the name and the management systems, Shumway said. This is the company’s first Marriott, but the Shumway brothers own several Hilton properties.
For Shumway, his favorite part of the hotel is the brick and stone exterior, which he said is a more expensive way to build, but made a big impact in the look of the building.
“I love how it turned out on the exterior,” he said. “It has a good look and fits well.”
As for the location, Shumway said “the convenience is hard to beat,” and said he has enjoyed bringing his business to Flagstaff.
“There’s a good feeling and good people in Flagstaff,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know a lot of good people.”