Lighthouse Properties’ original mission was to develop, own and operate hotels of less than 150 rooms located near Interstate highways. After opening the original 72-room Salina property in December 1999, the company added to its portfolio in 2000 by developing a Holiday Inn Express in Liberal, Kansas and Country Home and Suites in Lincoln, Nebraska. Each hotel became very successful within its chain and segment of industry.
However, unsatisfied with a business model that would ultimately require the buying and selling of hotels (including personnel) for success, the hotels were sold and a period of reflection and decision ensued. The decision: Lighthouse Properties would remain intact and would search for existing properties or build where unique circumstances would allow the company to own each property long term, thus allowing for the company to develop lasting relationships with employees. The re-positioned company’s first acquisition in 2005 was The Raphael, Kansas City’s original boutique hotel located on the Country Club Plaza. The company initiated an extensive multi-year, multi-million dollar restoration of the historic structure that modernized its functionality while preserving its historic virtues. The renovation resulted in a property that included 126 luxury guest suites and rooms, two new boutique scale meeting spaces, and a completely re-imagined restaurant. The restored 1920s vintage structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Homewood Suites, nestled lakeside at Wichita’s upscale Waterfront Parkway, opened in July 2006. Atypical of the brand, Homewood Suites by Hilton at the Waterfront features a uniquely distinctive exterior and interior design that far exceeds brand standards. The extended stay hotel offers 104 suites including spacious studios, one-bedroom suites, 2 bedroom/2 bath suites and 5 themed presidential suites with whirlpool spas. The hotel is rated Wichita’s #1 hotel by TripAdvisor reviewers and has received numerous awards from Hilton, including guest services, suitekeeping, and national brand runner up for the 2014 Hotel of the Year Award.