Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center: The city’s partner in serving visitors

Holiday Inn’s staff, left to right: Samantha Bean, corporate director of business development; Susan Womack, catering manager; Lindsay Cahalen, event meeting manager; Garry Cosby, group sales manager; Chris Kelley, director of sales and marketing; Elizabeth Parker, general manager; Bryan Connolly, director of food and beverage; Daniel Plott, executive chef; Wendy Pena, assistant general manager; and Cheryl Holston, executive housekeeper. Not pictured, Bob Neill, chief engineer.

If you’re looking for a business or vacation stay with contemporary lifestyle amenities, dynamic meeting and event spaces, all from a staff who focuses on being better every minute of the day, Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center/Airport District is the place. Once the Omni Hotel, Holiday Inn Newport News is located off of I-64 at the gateway to City Center.

With their combined experience tallying more than 50 years, Liz Parker, general manager, and Chris Kelley, director of sales, work with their executive team to offer a superior, full-service accommodation. A Newport News native, Parker formerly worked for Marriott International in Washington, D.C., and joined LTD Hospitality Group to manage its local Marriott Courtyard until it was sold. Today, Parker manages Holiday Inn Newport News with her two dogs; Shamrock and Garbi Merlot. She has a daughter, Jami; son-in-law, John; and one-year-old grandson, James. She and wife, Judy, live in Newport News. Kelley lives with his wife, Alyssa, and their son in Williamsburg.

Oyster Point Partners LLC purchased the property in December 2016 and began renovations last July. LTD Hospitality Group manages the property. Holiday Inn Newport News began serving guests on May 1.

“We chose the Holiday Inn brand because we wanted a strong presence in the area,” Parker says. “We are the only full-service Holiday Inn on the Virginia Peninsula.”

The hotel offers 11,000 square feet of meeting space with 10 separate and renovated rooms, including the Virginia Ballroom that accommodates 450 people for banquets, the Newport Room, the Mariner Boardroom and the Enterprise Boardroom.

Having spent close to $30,000 in audiovisual technology for its 68-person capacity amphitheater, Holiday Inn can accommodate the needs of any IT, government, healthcare or corporate group.

“Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center is night and day from what the Omni was,” Parker says. “Our theme is nautical with artwork reflecting shipbuilding, sailing and boating.”

The hotel’s onsite Burger Theory restaurant is family-friendly with food prepared to order. Local and craft beers are also offered and guests can dine outdoors on the patio.

The hotel is built for the business traveler but caters to families by providing eight or 10 USB ports in 183 fresh and modern guest rooms featuring a full menu of deluxe amenities. Complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access is also provided.

Each room features a coffeemaker, microwave and more. The hotel has a 24-hour business center, a made-to-order coffee shop, a heated indoor pool and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

“During spring and summer, Newport News does so much weekend leisure business,” Parker says. “We’re well positioned halfway between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, and a lot of folks want to stay at a Holiday Inn because kids eat and stay free.”

Outdoor space behind the hotel allows Kelley and his team to be creative with events, including weddings, corporate events and social gatherings.

Holiday Inn Newport News provides complimentary shuttle service for guests within a five-mile radius to and from the airport. It may offer an off-premise, customized catering service to businesses within the Oyster Point area.

“Our partnership with the city is close,” Parker says. “We plan to create more jobs working with the city’s STEP Program, where we mentor individuals and guide them in the right direction.”

“The staff at Holiday Inn Newport News understood the need to give young people [ages 16 to 24] a chance,” says MaRhonda Echols, youth gang and violence prevention manager for Newport News’ Office of the City Manager. “They were sensitive in knowing this could be the first opportunity for some who may need additional assistance and support.”

“Hiring people, employing people,” says Neel Desai, managing principal of LTD Hospitality Group. “That, to me, is the biggest win.”

Holiday Inn Newport News will complement the much larger Newport News Marriott at City Center’s 25,000 square feet of meeting space with its 11,000 square feet of space.

On May 5, Holiday Inn Newport News will host Over the Edge, a United Way fundraiser to alleviate local hunger.

Over the Edge offers participants the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rappel off the nine-story side of the Holiday Inn at City Center,” says Marsha Hargette, vice president, resource development and marketing with United Way of the Virginia Peninsula. “Those who don’t dare rappel down can hang out in the Chicken Coop, where we’ll have food and beer trucks, activities for the big and little kids and music.”

“Newport News has been very receptive to our opening,” Kelley says. “Everyone I’ve talked with is excited and looking forward to our City Center/Oyster Point location.”

Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center
Address: 980 Omni Blvd., Newport News, Virginia 23606
Phone: 757-223-2110
Email: or

About Cathy Welch 73 Articles
Cathy Welch is a Hampton Roads-based writer, photographer and book editor. She says her life is an eclectic mix of career and FAMILY. She earned our Bachelors degree in business administration at Christopher Newport University, minoring in Spanish. Her career has been full- and part-time as an administrator, an engineering assistant, a bookseller, a merchandiser, a naval photography layout assistant, an office manager, a grant writer and a human resource manager, all giving her experiences that feed her writing. She fosters pups and does what she can to bless those who are in need, whether human or canine. She can be reached at 757-870-0768 or at

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