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|InterMountain's success leaves footprint on Monroe's Tower Drive|
InterMountain Management's Dewey Weaver is proud of the development that's occurred along Tower-Armand Drive over the years.
One of the biggest developments along the corridor has been his new 15,000-square-foot corporate office, which will have its official grand opening today, July 17.
His company owns and operates hotels all over the country.
"By any city standards, this is a nice area," Weaver said. "We've got people who come in from all over the country who are just amazed at how nice this area is."
"The construction of this road through this piece of property right here is what did it," he said. "When they put the road in here, that really helped."
In light of the construction of InterMountain's new office building, Weaver said he wondered how the mountain lodge-looking facility would be received by the public.
"This was a little bit different than what everybody else has done," Weaver said. "No one had done something like this in northeast Louisiana, and I was wondering how it would be received.
"I liked it … I've seen a lot of this out west, and it's different. You just don't see this anywhere else. The only thing we're lacking is snow out here. If we get a snow machine out here, we'll be right at home."
Weaver said a number of people have simply stopped at the new facility wanting to take pictures of it.
"They'll stop, or slow down," he said. "I've had people in from Hyatt (hotels), who say this is as nice an office building as you'd see in Chicago."
Previously, InterMountain Management was located across the street off Tower in a 4,600-square-foot building. The company operated in that facility for three and a half years, but within the first year, the company had already outgrown it. The new facility is 15,000 square feet. Weaver expects to outgrow the new one, too.
"We don't know if it's going to be big enough, but that's a good problem if it's not," Weaver said.
He and local developer Joe Holyfield own 20 acres of land adjacent to the building, so InterMountain could add on to the existing building when needed.
Currently, the Monroe office has 30 employees. Over the next three months, the company will add 10 more accountants to handle the additional hotels InterMountain will build.
Nationwide, InterMountain Management boasts 1,700 employees.
"We're going to double the size of this company over the next 36 months," Weaver said. "If we stop and don't add another project, this company will be twice as big as it is now."
During the next 36 months, Weaver said InterMountain will add more employees, pushing its total nationwide to more than 3,000.
Weaver credits the success of his company to the employees who've helped him advance it to where it is today.
"It doesn't matter how nice this building is," Weaver said. "It's not going to work unless you have the right people. The people are No. 1, and we've assembled a great group here."
The brands of hotels InterMountain Management owns and operates are no strangers to travelers. They include Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt hotels.
InterMountain Management owns and manages more than 60 hotels in 31 states, with plans to add 62 additional hotels to its portfolio this year.
While his company is growing, Weaver said the hospitality industry has suffered recently from a lackluster economy nationwide.
"Our business hotels are flat … some of them are a little ahead," he said. "And, our roadside hotels are not doing as well this year. The hospitality industry has enjoyed a decade of good business, which is not normal. That's a long run.
"The oil prices nationwide have affected all of us. We're all changing our habits. They're not traveling as much. So until the prices lower or people start making more money, it's going to slow down here for awhile. But we've always built through the bad times, and we'll be ready for the good times."