A three-room WaterWalk apartment

A three-room WaterWalk apartment

Hotel legend launching new extended-stay/apartment concept in Louisville

Jack DeBoer is ready to try and reinvent the hotel business again, at 83 years of age. DeBoer is the founder of Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites and Candlewood Suites.

He plans to mix things up via his newest concept, WaterWalk, which seeks to combine the best of extended-stay hotels with apartment ownership, according to the new WaterWalk company.

The concept first launched in Wichita, Kansas, and all the apartments were occupied without any discounting. Here’s where it gets local. “Results have been so impressive that investors have already claimed franchises and sites in St. Louis, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Houston, Atlanta and Louisville, among others,” the company stated in an announcement.

“Apartments are still being built and managed the same way they were more than 50 years ago, without any recognition of today’s mobile workforce and changing consumer lifestyles,” DeBoer said in the announcement.

In traditional apartments, tenants are required to sign lengthy leases, put down big deposits, are charged fees to apply, and than have to make their own arrangements for everything from cable, internet and other utilities. WaterWalk does away with all that.

WaterWalk guests can sign short-term leases, and rent furnished or unfurnished apartments with hotel-like amenities and services. The guests also get DirectTV, on-site storage, free in-room breakfast, and concierge services, all for 35 percent less than comparable upscale extended-stay hotels.

WaterWalk apartments are also zoned for commercial use, allowing stays for less than 30 nights in most markets.

Here’s how they describe it: “Guests may choose to stay a day, a week, a month, a year, or longer with an all-inclusive bill for utilities, TV, internet, phone, and concierge services. For the full-service Gold package, housekeeping, fully-furnished apartments, and breakfast are also provided.”

We’ve put a call into WaterWalk to learn more about possible locations and timeline, and we’ll let you know when we know more.


Carlos Phillips is returning to GLI

Carlos Phillips returning to GLI

Greater Louisville Inc. announced that Carlos Phillips has been named senior vice president, effective Dec. 1, 2014.

Phillips served as GLI’s vice president of member and investor development from 2006 to 2009 when Joe Reagan was CEO of the organization. Phillips left during tumultuous times, and was later rumored as a possible candidate when Reagan resigned and left town.

Phillips has since been senior vice president of membership and marketing at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. A GLI press release says the organization is focusing on membership growth; Phillips will lead the regional chamber of commerce operations, including providing top-level leadership for investor relations, membership sales, marketing, member services, engagement, and events initiatives, as well as overseeing the day-to-day financial, operations and administrative functions of the organization.

“We are ecstatic that Carlos is coming back to GLI,” President and CEO Kent Oyler said in the press release. “He brings a wealth of experience in building membership relationships and delivering strong business-focused programming. Carlos’s expertise and leadership will allow GLI’s new management team to continue to reimage GLI as a more highly focused, efficient organization that delivers measurable value to its members and advances economic prosperity across the region.”

“It is an honor to rejoin the GLI team,” Phillips said.  “We have a great opportunity to continue to grow this organization and enhance the value that we deliver to businesses throughout Greater Louisville. I welcome the challenges the job will bring, and look forward to supporting and advancing our regional business community.”