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Posts tagged with Springhill Suites By Marriott

Updates on new cookie shop downtown and new ownership for SpringHill Suites

Excuse me while I make my way through these piles of spent party streamers, empty firework tubes and the rows of cannons from the 21-gun salute. (I assume you held a similar impromptu celebration as your kids walked out the door for the first day of school.)

Well, now I understand there is another way to celebrate the glorious event: Home delivery of cookies and milk.

We reported last month that a Columbia Mo.-based company called Hot Box Cookies would be setting up shop in downtown Lawrence. Indeed it has. Hot Box Cookies opened last week in the space at 732 Massachusetts St., the former home of 3 Spoons Frozen Yogurt.

But what I didn't know about the business last month is that it aims to do for cookies what Dominoes did for pizza.

"We deliver cookies that are hot and milk that is cold," said Lauren Critchfield, director of marketing and social media for Hot Box. "We think we're one of the only cookie delivery services in the nation."

The company does have a $12 minimum for delivery orders, but Critchfield, being in marketing and all, notes that is only six cookies and two milks.

"That sounds like the perfect meal," she said.

It sounds like I need to find my pants with the elastic waistband.

The business aims to do good walk-in business at its downtown store as well. The store plans to be open from 11 a.m. to midnight on most days, though on Friday and Saturdays during the school year, it likely will be open until 2 a.m. to accommodate the bar crowd.

The shop features about a dozen types of cookies, with most ranging from $1 to $1.25 apiece. Also on the menu is milk, milkshakes, chocolate chip cookie cakes, and frozen cookie dough pucks that you can take home and bake later. (I was supposed to bake them?)

The shop also offers ice cream sandwiches, where you pick your cookies and they make the sandwich.

"It is like a Klondike Bar on steroids," Critchfield said. (I wonder if they are going to name it an A-Rod sandwich, although to be fair, we don't know if this cookie crumbles in the playoffs.)

The Lawrence location is the first one for Hot Box outside of Columbia. Critchfield said the store's owners were visiting Lawrence one day and fell in love with Massachusetts Street.

"We think this is just the first link in the chain," Critchfield said of the company's expansion plans. "It is a growing business. People love cookies because they are simple and they are a taste of home."

•••

The perfect dinner of six cookies and two glasses of milk, I'm finding, may make you a little groggy.

Well, downtown Lawrence still has a Springhill Suites by Marriott for sleeping it off. Also last month, we reported that the hotel near Sixth and New Hampshire streets had sold. As we said at the time, all signs were pointing to the likelihood that the property would remain a SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

Recently, I've gotten in touch with one of the members of the new ownership group, and he has confirmed it.

"This is actually one of my favorite properties out of the whole portfolio that we purchased," said Clyde Johnson, chief investment officer for the BC Lynd group that purchased the hotel and five others from Overland Park-based Capital Management Inc.

Johnson said the Marriott flag will remain on the property, and he said most of the changes will involve bringing some of the management ideas he and his partners have used while developing more full-service, upscale properties for other hotel groups. While with another company, Johnson was involved with the management of the Hilton President in downtown Kansas City, and other Johnson County full service hotels.

"I think this hotel has a lot of potential because of its uniqueness," Johnson said of the property, which offers room views of the Kansas River. "I think the ballrooms are underutilized. We will actively market them to the community."

San Antonio-based BC Lynd operates about 1,000 hotel rooms across the country following the latest purchase.

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