Tru by Hilton planned for Westdale

Will be first for brand in Midwest, 9th in U.S.

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Frew Development Group and Kinseth Hospitality Companies of North Liberty will break ground Sept. 13 for a Tru by Hilton at Westdale.

The four-story, 82-room hotel will be the first Tru in the Midwest and the ninth in the country since Hilton introduced the brand in January 2016.

While Tru is designed to appeal to multiple generations of business and leisure travelers, Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta said in January that the affordable brand is specifically targeting younger travelers.

Aaron McCreight, president and CEO of Go Cedar Rapids, said millennials — those in their twenties and early thirties — like modern design and public spaces where they can work and socialize.

“The young folks who have disposable income do not travel like Gen-Xers travel, let alone those who are older,” McCreight said. “They want a lot more social interaction. They are looking for that engagement and Tru is a brand that ‘scratches that itch,’ if you will.

“From our standpoint, the more diverse our portfolio of hotels is for visitors, the better.”

Tru hotels have an open lobby with four zones where guests can work, play, lounge and eat. Guests will be able to enjoy complimentary amenities including breakfast, mobile check-in and Digital Key, a multifunctional fitness center, high-speed Wi-Fi and a pool.

McCreight said the larger lobby is a throwback to the early days of the hospitality industry when they were the place to meet other travelers and entertain guests. He said local hotel owners have embraced the change in recent years.

“You see where they are spending their money,” McCreight said. “They are expanding their lobbies and breakfast areas, adding more plugs and cabling. It’s all about enabling people to engage with fellow travelers.”

The 42,000-square-foot Tru by Hilton at Westdale will be located just inside the Williams Boulevard/Highway 151 entrance to the $90 million mixed-use redevelopment. The hotel is expected to open in the third quarter 2017.

Kinseth Hospitality, a hotel management, development and ownership company, operates hotels, restaurants and meeting facilities. The North Liberty company has more than 65 hotels and 5 branded restaurants in 12 states.

Frew Development is redeveloping the 900,000-square-foot, 72-acre former Westdale Mall.

Burlington Stores will open a new 40,400-square-foot store at Westdale in late September. It will join J.C. Penney and Younkers as anchor stores.

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