|Philadelphia Daily News|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Dec. 1, 2004 - It wasn't long ago that the city was touting the Adam's Mark Hotel as an example of the "spirit and drive of a city truly being reborn."
"The Adam's Mark Philadelphia continues to be part of this rebirth," the city said in a travel guide.
But the 515-room luxury hotel on City Avenue, a Philadelphia landmark and destination for 21 years, will soon be no more.
The hotel company has sold it to the Target Corp., it was announced yesterday. It will close Jan. 30 and be turned over to Target.
The sale was announced at 4 p.m. yesterday to employees at a meeting in the hotel's Quincy Ballroom.
A hotel employee who would give her name only as Evelyn said that employees -- everyone from administrative workers to bartenders, maids and other service personnel -- were at the meeting. No refreshments were offered; it was all business.
There had been rumors of a sale since September, but no definite information until yesterday, Evelyn said.
"We had an idea, but no one knew for sure until the last minute," she said. "A few people were angry and people had a lot of questions."
Evelyn said hotel officials told workers the sale had been "finalized" at 3:15 p.m. There will be no severance pay, workers were told.
"I think it sucks," was Evelyn's opinion of the sale.
She said questions asked at the meeting included why people had been hired recently, and why the company had not been more forthcoming about the rumored sale.
The company issued a statement announcing the sale. Copies were available to employees and guests yesterday.
"Although Adam's Mark does not currently have plans to develop another hotel in the Philadelphia area, the company continues to operate upscale hotels in seven states," it said. "Most of the properties are scheduled for extensive guest room renovations in 2005."
Adam's Mark is a nonunion hotel, according to Thurston Hyman, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union.
City Councilman Michael Nutter, in whose district the hotel is situated, said he learned of the sale late yesterday and called the general manager, Ron Day, who confirmed it would cease operations in 60 days.
"It's a landmark hotel in a great location," Nutter said. "It would take a significant amount of renovation to bring it up to standards and a significant amount of money."
Nutter said that the owner of the hotel chain has been trying to get out of the hotel business. It had 24 hotels and is now down to eight.
"This property and others have been on sale for some time," Nutter said.
"I assume the hotel building would be torn down and Target would build a new building," Nutter said. "I don't know its zoning classification, and whether it allows for a retail building there."
Back in its heyday, the hotel was as enthusiastic as the city in touting itself.
"The moment you enter our hotel, you'll feel the pulse of an energetic, richly appointed meeting hotel, with a refined, classic sense of style. And our style is backed with substance: more than 50,000 square feet of exquisitely flexible meeting and banquet space.
"Warmth, spirit, style and substance. The remarkable Adam's Mark Philadelphia."
The Adam's Mark Philadelphia features more than 55,000 square feet of meeting space, including 24 decorated meeting rooms, and the 12,144-square-foot Grand Ballroom.
It boasts 515 "spacious guest rooms," including 59 executive suites, as well as a fitness center, indoor/outdoor pool, whirlpool and sauna.
It includes three dining and entertainment venues: The Marker, featuring American cuisine; Appleby's for "casual dining," and Players, a sports bar with large-screen TVs.
Target is the nation's second- largest retailer, behind Wal-Mart. The company operates Target stores, Marshall Field's and Mervyn's. Target has one Philadelphia store and is planning to open another soon.
By Regina Medina and Kitty Caparella
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