John Sanza has a long history of sitting behind a hotel lobby desk in downtown Erie.

"I started in 1972 as a senior at Gannon, trying to earn some money to pay for my honeymoon," said Sanza.

He worked the desk for more than 30 years while it was a Holiday Inn.

He has left and come back with changes, most recently becoming part of the inaugural staff of the Red Roof Plus and Suites at 18th and State St.

Thirty of the 100 rooms are suites, offering kitchenettes, designed by the owners, which are complete with pots, pans and utensils.

The hotel is owned by Mark Erie Hospitality, which oversees other properties in Pennsylvania.

The company invested more than $7 million into the hotel's renovation.

Naomi Frost is the general manager of the Red Roof Plus and Suites, which fully opened in June.

"Basically, we try to cut out the extra kind of frills a lot of the higher-end hotels have and focus on the fundamentals of hospitality," said Frost. "What we try to focus on is guest experience, safety, cleanliness, [and] functionability."

Assistant manager Mel Wright oversees maintenance.

"All rooms are cleaned upon checkout," said Wright. "After that, they are inspected by our head housekeeper up until check in. For those guests, we have a full inspection again just to make sure anything we missed during that first inspection is clarified during that second inspection."

The hotel is pet-friendly.

It's busy season is anytime June through September.