52 In 52 Business Spotlight
The Comfort of Home
Local Comfort Inn and Suites Recognized for Outstanding Service; Wins 3rd Consecutive Platinum Award 2017 - 2019
In speaking with Brian Knopp of Comfort Inn and Suites (located on Route 29 in Campbell County near Lynchburg Airport), it is soon apparent that hospitality services to him and his staff embodies more than managing a hotel – it is an expression of their passion to care for others and a dedication to making each guest feel like family.
“We take the time to get to know our guests personally,” said Knopp. “Our brand says ‘comfort’, but it’s more than that. It’s sincerely caring for each guest and going above and beyond to make that connection with them.”
Serving in tourism and the hospitality industry for decades, Knopp approaches hotel management from the perspective of supportive leadership, humble service as well as seeking and developing the natural gifts and talents of his team. Their collective efforts have secured the Comfort Inn & Suites the prestigious “2019 Platinum Award” from Choice Hotels International, Inc., (NYSE: CHH), franchisor of the Comfort brand. The “Platinum Award” designation goes only to the top hotels within the brand and the Comfort Inn & Suites – Lynchburg is the only hotel in Virginia to be recognized with this honor.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for us and is a tribute to our staff,” said Dave and Susan Francis, owners of the Comfort Inn & Suites. “As one of the top-tier properties operating under the Comfort Inn flag, the hotel’s staff has demonstrated an exceptional focus on guest satisfaction and dedication to superior service.”
This is the third consecutive year that the Comfort Inn & Suites has received this honor. In addition, the hotel has been ranked as the #1 Hotel in Lynchburg (out of 25 hotels) on TripAdvisor, the world’s leading travel site, receiving the “TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence”. The hotel was also recently recognized as the “Best Hotel in Virginia under $200” by msn.com.
“We focus continually on the three C’s – caring, cleanliness, and comfort, - these are at the core of our success,” said Knopp. “Even beyond those fundamentals, we also have a strong desire to support our community and our fellow co-workers.” The Comfort Inn and Suites team dedicated their time and efforts toward honoring veterans, recognizing local law enforcement with a Waffle Day breakfast, and assisting with veterinary care and safe relocation of animals stranded along the Route 29 corridor. “It’s about being a part of this community and helping others that really sets us apart.”
Even with a positive leadership philosophy and a focused customer-service approach, the hospitality industry, like any other, faces challenges and changing trends. “There is always a need for workers trained in hospitality services,” said Knopp. “We have a great team, but it’s always hard to replace good staff when they move on to other opportunities. We also have a lot of local competition for staffing as well as seasonal occupancy.” Knopp encourages those entering the workforce to consider community college programs in hospitality as a good place to start.
“There’s tremendous job satisfaction in making others feels at home in our community. We’re proud to offer that experience and make it the best it can possibly be for our guests and employees.”