Memories of my first evening as a resident of Cape Girardeau will forever be associated with Drury Hotels and Suites. Instead of spending the night in a near-empty apartment, my wife and I opted for one of their hotels with the comforts of home.
While there are other fine hotels in Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area, I was impressed with Drury's rooms, free amenities and service. Apparently, I'm not alone.
In a customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power and Associates, Drury Inn and Suites ranked first among mid-scale hotel chains with limited service. Not only did the hotel receive top ranking in the category for the third consecutive year, but finished just four points behind the Ritz-Carlton overall, which received 836 out of a possible 1,000 points.
The survey was based on responses from 53,000 guests who stayed in a hotel between May 2007 and June 2008. Aamong the 16 hotel chains ranked in its class, Drury's closest competitor was Spring?Hill Suites.
The hotel chain was recognized after the North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study, which reviewed hotels' reservations, check-in/check-out, guest room, food and beverage, services, facilities and costs and fees. In a news release, Chuck Drury, president and chief executive officer of the Drury Inn and Suites, said his hotels pride themselves on friendly service and numerous free amenities, including a hot breakfast, evening beverages, long-distance calls for up to one hour and wireless Internet.
"It is our goal to provide consistent, quality service to our guests, and we greatly appreciate their recognition," Drury said. "As one of the few hotel systems that is 100 percent family-owned and operated, we make a personal commitment to our customers. We are very grateful for their continued patronage."
* Chicago-style pizzeria comes to Cape Girardeau: I've always been a huge fan of Chicago. Heck, my wife and I even chose to spend our honeymoon there three years ago because of all the city has to offer — the now first-place Cubs baseball team, Navy Pier amusement and shopping center, unique architecture, world-class zoo and amazing food.
Now, Chicago-style pizza lovers can experience this type of food in Cape Girardeau.
Pizzeria Adagio and Rolling Fog Creamery opened recently and could satisfy your hunger for two of America's most popular food items — pizza and ice cream. The restaurant's pizza features a buttery crust, generous amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Meanwhile, its ice cream is made through a nitrogen freezing process that creates a steamlike effect.
Founded by husband and wife Brian and Gretchen Probst, the restaurant, 503 Cadmium Lane between Gordonville and Cape Girardeau, held its grand opening July 25 and 26. Brian Probst said it took several years to create the recipe for the Chicago-style pizza.
The couple plans to operate the eatery from 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays while they keep their teaching jobs in the Cape Girardeau Public School District. Brian Probst said that although he is excited to open the restaurant, he has no plans of retiring from teaching anytime soon.
"This has been something that we've been interested in for about 10 years," he said. "What makes us unique is that we make everything from scratch, including our pizza and ice cream."
* Brazilian delegation visits SEMO port: A Brazilian delegation paid a Friday afternoon visit to the Southeast Missouri Port Authority in Scott City. The group, made up of officials from a variety of Brazilian state and federal agencies, was observing inland waterway facilities and operations in the United States. Sponsored by the Brazilian National Agency for Waterways, the trip also included stops in St. Louis, New Orleans and Chester, Ill.
* Newell Rubbermaid adding 40 jobs: With reports of layoffs becoming all too common these days, I was pleased to learn that Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid will soon increase its work force by 10 percent at its Jackson facility. Company spokeswoman Connie Bryant said the plant, which manufactures Rubbermaid organization products including wire and wood shelving and garage organization solutions, will add 40 jobs to its force of 400 employees.
Jobs will include light production, material handler, tool and die maker and various office positions.
The jobs are coming to the 700,000-square-foot facility at 1901 Lee St. as a result of new business from a large retail partner.
* New boutique shop opens: A taste of Paris has come to Cape Girardeau with the opening of Dee Chilton Boutique. The store, 517 N. Silver Springs Road, will carry high-end designer clothing, purses, hairpieces, wigs and other accessories for women sizes 2 to 26. Owner Seymour Chilton said he can also provide custom tailoring on the spot. The boutique held its grand opening Friday. It will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Monday.
Chilton said customers from as far away as Paducah, Ky., and Little Rock, Ark., have traveled to the store.
"I have not found an outlet for designer fashions such as my store," Chilton said. "This is necessary for the area."
* Jackson company opens new division: Three months have passed since Kinder Motor Co., 2856 Sappington Drive in Jackson, opened its new commercial vehicle division, and business has increased every month. Owner David Kinder said the new service will allow businesses that have company vehicles to get the most bang for their buck. Kinder said his company can handle the transactions, including marketing, selling and mailing the check to the customer once the vehicle is sold.
"With the services we offer, we feel most businesses have company vehicles and the process of trying to buy and sell is sometimes a hassle for them," Kinder said. "By going through us, we'll achieve top dollar for the business."
Business reporter Brian Blackwell can be reached at 335-6611, extension 137, or email@example.com.