The INN-Side Story is going to be a weekly post to the blog so you can meet our Comfort Inn Hotel Family here in Middletown, NJ. Our hotel has been owned and operated by the Pappas and Morris families since it opened it’s doors in 1962 as the Howard Johnson’s. Back at that time both the Howard Johnson Restaurant and Lodge were owned by the families.
The Howard Johnson Restaurant was leveled and the Outback Steakhouse opened on August 4, 1998. The Comfort Inn Middletown opened May 5, 2005. Renovations continued on the hotel throughout 2006 and into 2007. The grand re-opening ceremony was in September 2007. Two state of the art conference rooms were added, the breakfast rooms was upgraded, hotel rooms were updated and the facade was replaced among many other upgrades.
Meet Our Principal Owner and General Manager Spiro Pappas:
Spiro has had a long history with both the Howard Johnson Restaurant and hotel. He started with the company on June 3, 1975 and as he says “May that day live in infamy.” He worked in the restaurant as a Chef and as the Assistant Manager of the hotel. In 1983 he married his beautiful wife and was promoted to hotel General Manager. He has had a very successful career and was named “Manager of the Year” with Howard Johnson for the first out 4 times in 1987. Between 1998 and 1990 he and his wife had a son and a daughter.
Spiro earned his Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) in 1995. He served as the Chairman of the Franchise Board for Howard Johnsons from 1997-1998. Spiro is also very active in the community and in ’96 he was elected to the Parish Council at St. George Greek Orthodox Church. He served as the President from 2003-5 and Vice President 2009-10. He was the Vice President of CBA’s Alumni Association for 2007-8 and President 2009-10. He has also served as the VP of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association.
As the General Manager, Spiro is completely hands on in the day-to-day operations of the hotel. Most days you will find him answering the phone at the front desk, assisting housekeeping, or doing maintenance work on the grounds. He also enjoys entertaining guests with tales of the business and can be found having a cup of coffee with them in our breakfast room most mornings. He is very dedicated to the hotel, his guests and employees. Employee turnover is not an issue for him, many of his employees have worked him over ten years. He makes a special effort to treat them as individuals and recognize their unique talents.
Keep an eye out for future Inn-Side story posts. I am going to try to highlight a person per week. I am collecting stories, photos and memories to post here. If you’ve had any experiences you would like to share I’d love to post them. Please email us anything you would like to contribute, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave you comments below as well.
The Comfort Inn Middletown – “It’s not where you sleep, it’s who you sleep with.”