Holiday Inn Express Findley Lake Has New General Manager

Right, Paul Leroux, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Findley Lake, goes over some details with front desk manager Judy Miller. Submitted photo

FINDLEY LAKE — The future’s so bright at the Holiday Inn Express in Findley Lake that guests might need to wear sunglasses.

The hotel’s Michigan-based owners recently hired Paul Leroux of North East to be general manager. He takes over the position from Maroun Knieher who has returned to Michigan to take another position with the same company. Leroux officially started on Oct. 16.

“The future is bright,” Leroux said. “I’m starting off in an extremely positive situation that will only continue to get better … occupancy is headed in a positive direction and it’s looking to be a good year with snowfall.”

During his time as general manager, Knieher made several improvements to the establishment, most notably the reopening of the I-86 Restaurant on hotel grounds. Leroux said he feels very fortunate to be taking over management of the Holiday Inn Express at this time.

“I found the hotel to be extremely clean and in excellent condition,” he said.

Leroux said he has many plans to promote the hotel, especially via social media.

“There will be a big push in social media,” he said. “We encourage anyone from the area to check us out on Facebook where they will find hotel discounts and restaurant weekly specials.”

One thing Leroux has already done is to offer the chance to win an overnight stay to anyone who “drops a business card in the jar in the lobby or likes us on Facebook.”

However, this is no replacement for the personal connection, Leroux said.

“Anyone who does put in a business card or sees us on Facebook, I would like to meet face-to-face,” he said.

Leroux said he believes the I-86 Restaurant will play a large part in the hotel’s future.

“The addition of a restaurant adds another amenity for our hotel guests and the community to enjoy,” he said.

The restaurant, which opened in August, has been “ramping up with business,” Leroux said.

“We’re looking to capture more of the local community market by serving outstanding food at a reasonable price,” he said.

Leroux said his reception at the hotel has been positive.

“Personally, I have received an extremely warm welcome,” he said.

Leroux said he credits the staff at the Holiday Inn Express for the hotel’s good reputation. The hotel has consistently won the Torch-Bearer Award, which means it is in the top 20 percent of all Holiday Inn Expresses in the country.

“We are on target to win it for 2017,” Leroux said. “I can see why the property is award-winning. It is because of the high level of customer service from the staff.”

Leroux has been in the hospitality industry for more than 25 years. He has worked in hotels in Erie, Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo. Most recently, he managed a hotel and spa in Niagara Falls.

Leroux said he contacted the I.H.G. corporate office about a position and they put him in touch with the owners of the Findley Lake Holiday Inn Express.

“I was looking to find a hotel position closer to home,” he said.

Now that he has become general manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Findley Lake, Leroux said he will apply all of his experience to help the hotel and restaurant succeed.

“I look forward to using my years of experience to enhance the hotel and property for both the guests and the employees.” he said.