Fort Huachuca – Army Lodging on Base
Fort Huachuca Army Lodging was recently privatized through a Department of the Army contract which was awarded to IHG (the International Hotels Group) which operates the Holiday Inn Express & Candlewood Suites hotel chains granting them authority to lease the federal property on Fort Huachuca for a 50-year term. IHG now operates & benefits from the Army Lodging facility on the U.S. Army Installation because of a “cost savings to the federal government” through an out-sourcing of contracts. Only the U.S. Army decided to contract out lodging on post, and effort that began in 2003-2005; All of the other Services: Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps decided to keep their lodging facilities government run because the quality of the facilities was much higher, and the Army did not have appropriated funds to re-hab their lodging. The contract was awarded to IHG on Fort Huachuca & some 20-30 other Army bases.
In 2006-2007, IHG built two large hotels in Sierra Vista, immediately after the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) contract was awarded to the company.
Post Lodging VOQ-BOQ & Temporary Guest Facilities
Statements of Non-Availability are no longer required for standard military & government travelers in a TDY status. Soldiers in a non training status can choose where to stay in Sierra Vista, AZ including hotels, furnished apartments, or furnished house rentals. Many lodging providers in town offer accommodations at the government per diem lodging rate. Army Lodging features on Fort Huachuca include a standard bed and linens, a mini-fridge & microwave, and a single room motel/hotel types of set-up with bathroom. Post Lodging on Fort Huachuca is no longer considered government lodging and there for service members can no longer be ordered to stay in post lodging because the facility is run by a private company on a Federal Military DoD (Department of Defense) installation.
Army Lodging on Post prior to the PAL contract
The privatization of Army Lodging contract for Fort Huachuca, Arizona was awarded several years ago. Prior to the PAL contract on Fort Huachuca, Statements of Non-Availability were required for military service members to be able to reside in off base lodging. There is no longer a requirement to obtain a Statement of Non-Availability.
Fort Huachuca’s Privatized Army Lodging FAQ
Please note that the following was obtained through public disclosure through the Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Office:
Privatized Army Lodging began in 2009 and now includes a total of 21 installations in which hotels are now owned and operated by a private entity.
PAL engages the private sector to manage, build, renovate, maintain and operate transient lodging on Army installations within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The program is modeled after the Army’s successful privatized family housing program, the Residential Communities Initiative, known as RCI.
Fort Huachuca’s lodging operation was transferred to the private sector on Aug. 12, 2011. The decision to privatize and the company selected was not a local decision.
The Department of Army worked with Lend Lease and InterContinental Hotels Group to negotiate the terms of the lease, the associated business agreements and the financing structure. In times of scarce resources, it is especially important that the Army partner with private industry to leverage its limited funds, officials said. In PAL the Army has contributed the existing facilities and the private sector has secured loans to recapitalize the inventory. The loans are supported by room rates which are capped at 75% of the prevailing lodging per diem rate as a weighted average across the portfolio. This ensures that the rates are affordable to official travelers and within Army budget expectations. The Army provides no guarantees to the private investors with regard to the loan or occupancy.
At Fort Huachuca, IHG is currently operating the 230 rooms previously managed by Army Lodging. IHG plans to build a 244-room hotel on the installation within the next five years, resulting in a total of 478 rooms available on post for Army travelers. Current room rate for person on orders (official travel) with IHG on-post is $65.75 per night. No Tax if they have the tax exempt form with them. For guests without orders (unofficial travel) room rates are $81 to $86 per night PLUS tax.
There is no requirement under PAL for TDY or PCS personnel to use the hotel rooms on post. Just as it is with Privatization of Army Housing, use of on post hotel rooms are optional for the military traveler. PAL does not require students to stay on post or to move on post. There is no longer any requirement for Statements of Non-Availability.
Source – Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Office, September 22, 2011