A variation of the hotel/motel model, extended stay suites have been around for several years. By 2006 they had become a burgeoning business. Now, in 2010, the competition is fierce as companies are hiring more part-time workers who travel a few days a week to their jobs. This is one result of hiring part-time, independent contractors to avoid paying full-timers' benefits.
Salespeople especially take advantage of the facilities and comfort suites offer: a bed and sitting area, usually a desk, WIFI access, coin laundry, continental breakfast, newspapers, sometimes a deck, pool or spa and exercise room. The clincher is the full kitchenette, complete with stove, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, microwave, pots and pans, dishes and utensils for four.
After an active day, the ability to kick back, relax and pop a TV dinner in the microwave really appeals.When you are on the road almost constantly, the joy of restaurant meals begins to wane.
Smart Suites of Burlington, Vermont is the perfect example of an extended stay hotel.The suites are occupied by visitors taking advantage of the savings derived from staying seven nights. A month is even more economical and Smart Suites is geared for that clientele.
Many of the residents have come to work for the major high-tech employers: B. F. Goodrich in Vergennes and GE Healthcare in Burlington. Because of the IT nature of the jobs, many of these guests come from India, China and other Asian countries.
Others enjoying this lifestyle include:
- Former Vermonters, now 'snowbirds' retreat from summer's heat down south for a few months of 'cool' without needing to own a cottage.
- Locals between old and new houses frequently stay here until the last coat of Minwax has dried on the new floors.
- Oldsters (like this writer) waiting for that opening in a senior living place, of which Burlington has many, all fully occupied.
Because of Fletcher Allen Hospital, the training arm of UVM's medical school, Smart Suites in South Burlington has its share of nurses in residency. It is also a temporary home to 'traveling nurses,' an enviable group who serve in hospitals world-wide. Typically, they go for a three month stretch to an area that needs nurses in specialized fields. One currently living here has been to Alaska, Hawaii, now Vermont and everywhere in between. For someone with wanderlust, this is a life filled with new experiences every day.
Burlington itself is an experience. In the past month, the hotel has been filled with participants in:
- The Marathon
- Mother's Day (great special restaurant deals on Church Street)
- Memorial Day Events
- Graduation; UVM, St. Michael's, Champlain College, Burlington College, and high schools
- Burlington Jazz Festival
- Soccer Championships
- Weddings, many lakeside venues View of Mallett's Bay, Colchester
- Bass Fishing Derby Where the big bass swim
That doesn't even touch the upcoming events: Bike races, Beer Festival, A Taste of Burlington, Fireworks, etc. Just warming a bench on Church Street is enough activity for the People Watchers - never a dull moment.
If you would like to learn more about Burlington, Lake Champlain, Vermont, the crafts, the sights and sounds, click on "Subscribe" at the top of the page, and hang on for the ride. Only wish this venue had "scratch and sniff" for the full effect.