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Brandy Senn and Lori Boger cele-brate with Julie Hill, the gen-eral man-ager of Microtel on the Beltline. Microtel named Hill top general manager in the nation.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Brandy Senn and Lori Boger cele-brate with Julie Hill, the gen-eral man-ager of Microtel on the Beltline. Microtel named Hill top general manager in the nation.

Microtel names Hill top GM in nation

By Paul Huggins
phuggins@decaturdaily.com 340-2395

Microtel named Julie Hill its General Manager of the Year for 2006, selecting her from among 300 property managers nationwide.

"I'm proud because it put Decatur on the map. It's not just my award; it's for the whole city," Hill said Thursday during a surprise congratulation luncheon given by Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Though it recognizes general managers, the award actually reflects the hard work of all 17 employees, she said. She also credited the hotel's owners, Bill Pitts, H.M. Nowlin and Aaron Guthrie, for being community minded and re-investing in the hotel by approving raises that maintain employee morale.

"You can't win a GM's award without having a great staff," Hill said.

The award, which recognizes overall cleanliness, customer service and community involvement, probably is the result of four years of achievement, she said, noting the property won a top national award each of the past four years. These include:

  • Guest service hero award in 2003, when it took care of the 926th Engineer Battalion before it went to Iraq.

  • Director or sales award in 2004 for creative promotions and maintaining high occupancy rates.

  • Community service award in 2005 for taking care of victims of Hurricane Katrina for a month.

  • Quality award in 2006 for achieving a score of 90 percent or higher on customer service, property condition and room cleanliness.

    The Microtel, on Beltline Road Southwest, opened seven years ago. It typically has a 10 percent higher occupancy rate than other Decatur hotels, according to the Smith Travel Research Report.

    Pitts, who nominated Hill for the award, said that when the Microtel opened, it was part of a new chain without a recognizable brand, and that made the hard sale of economy hotel rooms even harder.

    But Hill is one of the reasons the Microtel is earning a high reputation, and corporate officers routinely ask her for advice or use her to teach seminars, he said.

    "Julie is a natural salesperson," he said. "She has put this hotel on the map not only locally, but nationally."

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