Carrie Rengers

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites coming to 21st and Greenwich

09/26/2012 4:57 PM

09/26/2012 4:57 PM

WICHITA — A South Dakota company is building a new Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites near the northeast corner of 21st and Greenwich.

KAJ Management of Mitchell, S.D., will break ground on the 97-room hotel in early November.

"We're full steam ahead to start construction," says owner and vice president Aaron Johnson.

The project is separate from the STAR bonds district that's being created for a new athletic complex at K-96 and Greenwich.

"We would have done it regardless," Johnson says. "Without question, the future looks very good in that area of town."

The hotel will be within the district but won't receive any financial assistance from it, Johnson says.

The Holiday Inn, which will take about seven months to build, will be KAJ's sixth hotel.

Mitchell-based Puetz Corp. is the contractor.

KAJ also purchased the adjacent 88-room Staybridge Suites this summer.

MK Hospitality and DKC Development sold the 3-year-old hotel to KAJ for $8.5 million.

"It was one of the highest sales for the brand ever in the United States," says former co-owner Dan Marak.

Marak, who is based in Shawnee, is partners in MK Hospitality with Nebraska-based John Klimpel.

"We weren't really marketing it," Marak says of the hotel. "We just got an offer. It was a pretty nice offer. We just couldn't resist it."

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About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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