Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Army Lodging operations at Fort McCoy will transition from a
nonappropriated fund operation to the Privatization of Army Lodging
(PAL) system, effective May 1.
Army Lodging at Fort McCoy is scheduled to become a privatized
operation May 1 as part of an Armywide initiative.
Army leadership said the plan to privatize Lodging or
hotel operations throughout the Army was pursued because it would cost
the Army upward of $1 billion and 20 years to upgrade the inventory of
Lodging rooms to an adequate standard.
Mike Bayerl, Fort McCoy Army Lodging manager, said Fort McCoy’s Lodging
operation is one of the last Army Lodging operations to transition to
the PAL system. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Rest Easy
officials announced the May 1 transition date during a December visit to
“An independent market study indicated the only lodging at Fort McCoy
that will be leased to the PAL system is building 51, which currently
has 218 rooms,” Bayerl said. “We also have a parcel of land next to the
building that can be used to meet parking requirements or to add other
amenities that are part of a hotel operation.”
Revenues gained from the operations will be used to upgrade the rooms to
eventually become a Holiday Inn Express operation.
“This will be a win-win situation for the customers, who are
predominantly military,” Bayerl said. “Holiday Inn Express can provide
more amenities than we can in our current setup.”
For example, Holiday Inn Express can offer military customers a
complimentary breakfast, swimming pool, a shuttle bus/van to various
post activities, concierge services to answer questions about local
sights and events, a commercial laundry service for hotel laundry, such
as linens, and a manager’s night food service.
Some activities, such as replacing televisions, bedding and doing a deep
cleaning of all surfaces and window treatments, will be conducted in the
early stages, he said.
As part of a national chain, guests at a Holiday Inn Express also
qualify for frequent guest rewards. Reservations can be made at a
centralized website that has systemwide information as well as specific
information about attractions available in and around Fort McCoy. A
toll-free reservation number with specially trained reservationists, who
are fully knowledgeable about each installation, Army travel polices,
per diem guidelines and IHG systems, also will be available. Bayerl said
none of the additional amenities currently are available at Fort McCoy.
Customers, including military personnel who will have priority, are not
required to stay at the facility so the amenities and service will have
to convince customers to stay there, Bayerl said. Rates for customers on
official business to the installation likely will be determined
according to the per diem rates.
Bayerl said more details about the additional amenities, the timing of
their availability and the time line for the facility to become a
full-fledged Holiday Inn Express will become known in the coming months
as hotel representatives come back to view the facilities and the
Lodging employees have been aware of this transition process for the
past six years so they have had time to prepare, Bayerl said. All
employees will be offered a severance package and can apply with the PAL
system for a position with the new hotel organization. The process
guarantees Lodging employees will receive an interview to work for the
new contracted organization, he said. Successful applicants will retain
their seniority in the new organization. Of the Lodging operations that
already have transitioned to PAL, 97 percent of the labor requirements
were filled with current Lodging employees.
“The IHG operation will have some jobs that have different skill
requirements, such as food service, than the jobs we currently have,” he
said. “They also have regular positions and no flex-time positions as we
have so that will be an improvement for our staff if they go to work for
the new organization.”
For more information about IHG, visit the website IHGArmyHotels.com or
call 877-711-TEAM (8326).