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									 Volume 1
 Issue 1
                                                  The Benson
 2008                                             R e p o r t
Oconee County’s first hotel!
                                                                     Summer 2009

Oconee County will soon welcome its first hotel – SpringHill Suites. In March, Benson’s Inc.
broke ground on Daniells Bridge Road, the future site of the newest Motel Enterprises venture.
SpringHill Suites will be the first of its kind in the area with a true suite concept. The 100
oversized rooms will be split between one king and two queen beds, providing plenty of
living space for guests. Separate areas for eating, sleeping and relaxing within the individual
hotel rooms are part of the SpringHill Suites experience, as are in-room microwaves,
mini-refrigerators and coffee services. To stay connected while visiting Oconee, guests will have free access to in-room high-speed Internet.
Guests also will receive complimentary Suite Seasons breakfast, a healthy meal with fresh in-season selections. The hotel accommodations
will be perfect for local business conventions and school teams looking for a great place to stay while remaining close to Highway 316 and the
attractions of Athens and Watkinsville.
Charles Grimes, president of the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce, was present at the groundbreaking and
his excitement for the project was clear. “It only makes sense that a hotel the caliber of a Marriott product would
be needed and welcomed into our community,” Grimes said. “I commend the Benson family for their vision and
foresight with SpringHill Suites.”
                               Reese Benson, Assistant Facilities Director for Motel Enterprises, is overseeing all
                               aspects of construction. His leadership in his family’s business led him to the
                               SpringHill Suites project, and his familiarity with Oconee County has made Reese
                               an asset to the development of the hotel. SpringHill Suites will be a wonderful addition to the growing business
                               landscape of Oconee County. In addition to creating 30 new employment opportunities, the hotel will have
                               positive financial benefits on the community, generating more than $130,000 in tax revenue and an estimated
                               $4.3 million economic impact!
                               Benson’s Inc. is excited about the future of Oconee’s first hotel! Look for SpringHill Suites in the summer of 2009!
A Fourth Generation of Benson’s Inc.
 The Benson family made their mark in Athens with the start of their homemade breads and cakes, and later expanded the
 company to form Motel Enterprises. Will Benson, President of the Hotel Division, and his brother Reese, Assistant
 Facilities Director, mark the fourth generation to guide the organization. Their leadership in Benson’s Inc. is invaluable
 because of the work ethic and life lessons they have learned from their family. Will and Reese’s father, Larry, is currently the
 President of the two corporations, and their grandfather, Ed, is the founder of Motel Enterprises. With such a strong history
 of economic development and community values, it is with great pride that a new generation steps in to guide Benson’s Inc.

                   The Benson family breaks ground on the new SpringHill Suites—Oconee County’s first hotel.

Web Site Updates: Lodging Interactive at

Benson’s Inc. strives to keep its hotel division,
Motel Enterprises, on the forefront of the hospitality industry;
this includes interactive updates to its Athens hotel website.
                                     When you visit
                                     the three Motel Enterprise
                                     properties are shown,
                                     featuring beautiful pictures
                                     and easy point-and-click
                                     referencing. Each
                                     property’s page has
                                     detailed lodging
                                     information including
guest room features, group meeting options, area attractions
and a convenient online reservation desk. Benson’s Inc.
makes it easy to stay in the Classic City!
Benson’s Inc: Giving Back to the Community
The Classic City provides many opportunities to be
                                                                              Giving Back
                                                               Restaurant and Tourism Management program. Many
involved in the community. Benson’s Inc. takes pride in        students who have graduated from the program have gone
giving back to Athens and, since opening in 1918, has          on to work for Motel Enterprises in one of its three hotels,
been part of many local organizations and events.              and are using their experience to continue their career at
                                                               establishments such as the Ritz Carlton.
The mission of the Athens-Clarke County Mentor Program
is to build and strengthen the character and competence of     Before the United Way of Northeast Georgia organization
children and youth in the community by pairing them with       became known as such in 1980, it was founded as the
mentor who wants to make a difference. The Benson              Athens/Clarke County Community Chest in 1954.
Family has been involved in the Mentor Program since it
began in 1991, and Ed Benson is a demonstration of its
success. Ed, one of the first 30 mentors, has been a mentor
to Kevin Epps, a young man whom Ed originally met when
Kevin was a fourth grader at Cleveland Road Elementary.
Ed and Kevin have developed a dedicated friendship over
the years, and Ed has seen Kevin through many new phases
in his life including graduating from law school. “Doing for
other people makes me the happiest,” says Ed. Having           The goal of the organization has always been to increase
the opportunity to serve in the program and better the         the ability of people to care for one another through
community has made a difference in Ed’s life, and the          volunteers and service providers, and currently supports
Benson family as a whole.                                      26 human service agencies in an eight-county area.
                                                               Ed Benson has been personally involved in United Way
                 The Athens Regional Foundation Classic        since its founding, and his employees are a testament to
                 Golf Tournament is the one of the most        his dedication. Rubielen Norris, President of United Way
                 anticipated events of the year, bringing      of Northeast Georgia and a former Benson’s employee,
                 thousands of spectators to Jennings Mill      remembers Ed’s passion for the organization. “Mr. Benson
     L A SIC     Country Club for a week of challenging
        S                                                      would host a luncheon for all the employees and take us to
                 golf. Benson’s three hotels—Holiday Inn,      visit one of the agencies; the Athens Boys’ Club and the
Holiday Inn Express and Hilton Garden Inn—have been            Salvation Army were his favorites. He gave everyone the
Cornerstone Partners since the April tournament began          opportunity to contribute to an organization he firmly
three years ago. Their sponsorship helps support the           believes in.”In addition to encouraging employee involvement,
Athens Regional Foundation, an organization dedicated          Ed Benson also served as President on the United
to maintaining and expanding the availability of health        Way Board of Directors and chaired a very successful
services to the community.                                     community campaign. Larry Benson has continued the
                                                               same support of the United Way Campaign, providing
Athens Technical College has also benefited from the
                                                               Loan Executives for the campaign and holding employee
assistance of the
                                                                                              meetings to present United
Benson’s Inc. In
                                                                                               Way. The Benson family
2007, Motel
                                                                                              continues to foster its
Enterprises and
                                                                                              longtime relationship with
Benson’s Inc.
                                                                                              United Way of Northeast
pledged $50,000
                                                                                             Georgia and the agencies
toward the Athens
                                                                                             it represents.
Tech Foundation.
Funds from the
foundation will be used for the three-year-old Hospitality,
                                                                        Step Inside: A New Look
A NEW LEGACY                         Contribute
The Benson family has always been part of the philanthropic landscape
                                                                                      New look
                                                                        for Holiday Inn Express
                                                                        As Motel Enterprises adds to its growing list of
of Athens and the surrounding areas. As a new opportunity arises        ventures, Bensons Inc. is renewing the image of
to serve the community, the Bensons will be the first to pave the       its current properties. The Holiday Inn Express
way for future generations. The Athens Area Community                   is undergoing exciting renovations to the interior
Foundation, a public charity seeking long-term benefits for the         and exterior, all of which are scheduled to be
community, was established in the spring of 2008. The goal of the       finished in 2008.
foundation is to bring people together who care deeply about the
Athens area and who seek to improve the quality of life and
economic well-being of all community members through gifts and
involvement. The foundation encourages donors to establish funds
that serve as the community’s “collective savings account”; from

                                                                        The outside of the hotel will be freshly painted
this account, grants can be made to local charities and organiza-       and all signs will be updated with the new
tions.                                                                  Holiday Inn Express logo. When guests enter
Benson’s Inc. is proud to establish the first Donor Advised Fund at     the front doors, they will be greeted with new
the Athens Area Community Foundation. A Donor Advised Fund              carpet and floors, awash in elegant and
allows the donor the opportunity to make recommendations to the         contemporary lighting. The walls will be
foundation for grants to be made from their fund. To build the          recovered with new wallpaper to enhance the
Benson Fund, the Benson’s will donate $1 per hotel room rented          hotel’s more modern look. All public areas will
on football weekends totaling $10,000 per year for five years,          be renovated including meeting space areas,
beginning with the 2008 football season. As a way to inform guests      which will feature sleek chairs and desks.
of their involvement in the community, the Bensons will advertise       Guests will find their rooms more inviting and
this first-ever fund to its patrons, allowing them to match each dol-   up-to-date. New drapes, wall coverings and
lar, or contribute their own amount to the Benson Fund.                 carpet will coordinate well with Thomasville
This amazing opportunity allows the Bensons to continue their           furniture, an exciting enhancement to the hotel’s
extensive involvement in the United Way, and their contributions        spacious accommodations. Each room in the
to community causes, while growing even more philanthropic              hotel will also feature new artwork to give guests
resources in the permanently endowed fund. “This is an amazing          a view to remember.
way for Benson’s Inc. to continue our service in the community,”        Motel Enterprises is pleased to welcome visitors
said Scott Norris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for            to the Holiday Inn Express as these fantastic
Motel Enterprises. “We want other businesses and organizations          changes are underway!
in the area to follow suit, allowing the Athens area to flourish for
generations to come.”
  A CLASSIC HISTORY                       Classic
                                                     The Athens Holiday Inn, located on
Benson’s Bakery opens new location on the                                                     1959
very property where the Hilton Garden Inn            Hull Street in downtown Athens, opens.
stands.The original bakery opened in 1918.

                                                     The Athens Holiday Inn Express,
Benson’s Bakery moves from original                                                           1998
location in Athens to its bakery in Bogart.          formerly The Ramada Inn, opens.

                                                     The Hilton Garden Inn Athens
Groundbreaking festivities held for                                                           2006
the Classic City Hilton Garden Inn.           2004   Downtown opens February 23, 2006.

Groundbreaking ceremony for SpringHill
Suites in Watkinsville, Georgia

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