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$120 million Fort Lee lodge opens in Petersburg area

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After two years of construction, the largest Army lodging facility in the continental United States is open. Following a soft opening in late December, guests have been checking into the $120 million lodge at Fort Lee this month, filling more than 800 of its 1,000 rooms. A grand opening is set for Feb. 19.

“Our biggest challenge was getting the rooms ready,” Marc Jannsen, general manager for Fort Lee Lodging, said in a statement. “You can imagine how long it takes to put furniture into 1,000 units. Then, we had to add all the amenities. For example, the pots and pans arrived the week prior to opening, and it took us nearly three days to place those items in every room,” added Jannsen, noting that the rooms have kitchenettes. 

Most of the initial guests are Army Logistics University students. So far, hotel officials say feedback from guests has been positive, with some surprised by the amenities. “I was expecting a room with a bathroom and linen — nothing really fancier than that,” Staff Sgt. Coyar White from Fort Stewart, Ga., said in a statement. “However, they have a little kitchenette, and it’s a very nice, comfortable room overall. It’s like a miniature apartment.”

One thing that wasn’t ready to go for the soft opening was a first-floor restaurant.The target for its opening is set for summer. The full-service restaurant will offer a bar and grab-and-go sections where people can get something already prepared or that can be can be micro-waved or cooked in their rooms. The restaurant will be open to everyone on the installation.

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