The rebirth of the old EconoLodge in St. James drew another step closer Thursday when it was announced the 15-year-old hotel will reopen in June as a Days Inn and Suites.


The rebirth of the old EconoLodge in St. James drew another step closer Thursday when it was announced the 15-year-old hotel will reopen in June as a Days Inn and Suites.

“We’re looking at reopening on June 1, if all goes well,” said Investment Reality CEO Mike Woessner, whose company brokered the deal and is supervising the renovation.

“Our biggest holdup is ordering the furniture, getting the fabrics — the flooring and the curtains. It’s going to take six to eight weeks,” Woessner said. “If we can get it all by mid-May, we’ll be opening in June.”

The hotel, which was built in 1994 by David Weinbaum, is located on the northwest quadrant of the Interstate 44 interchange, next to McDonald’s restaurant.

On Thursday, Woessner introduced Manmohan Shetty, the director of operations and support, who is excited about the opportunity to bring the hotel to St. James.

“We are very pleased to be here,” Shetty said. “This is a great location, and we’re bringing an established product here to St. James.”

The hotel has received an extensive facelift. Besides the freshly painted walls with prevalent earth tones throughout, ceramic tile has been added to the lobby and entryway, new counters and overhead lighting, and the pool and solarium area has a new roof, all making the 60-room hotel the place to stay while visiting St. James.

“As you can see, the hard work is basically done,” Woessner said. “All we need are the (heating and air-conditioning units), the flooring and the furniture. When it’s finished, it will be the place to stay again in St. James.”

Matt Woessner, Mike’s son, is the general manager for the project that began Jan 2.

“We’re excited to get this hotel up and running, contributing to the St. James economy again,” the younger Woessner said. “We’re very excited about this.”

The younger Woessner also will be the front person who will be accepting applications for persons seeking employment at the hotel.

“We are accepting applications for a hotel manager, front-desk personnel and housekeeping people,” Woessner said. Persons interested in applying may send their job inquiries to Matt Woessner at matt@inv-rel.com.

Mike Woessner said the renovation has included seven full-time construction workers, many of whom were displaced when the hotel closed for the renovation.

“We’ve hired all local people for this renovation,” the elder Woessner said. “All the lumber and as many of the supplies have been purchased locally.”

The hotel, which is the largest in St. James, is getting a lot of interest, too.

“I got a call just yesterday about from a family that is planning a big family reunion on Memorial Day weekend, and we’re hearing it could be done by then,” said St. James Mayor Dennis Wilson, who said there have been inquiries about the Fourth of July weekend and from people who are looking for lodging during the Tour of Missouri.

“It’ll be great to have it open again.”