|By Kyle Stock, The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Dec. 13, 2004 - COLUMBIA HOTEL GETTING MAJOR RENOVATION, NEW NAME: The Adam's Mark Hotel in Columbia is getting a new name and a serious renovation, care of the two companies that bought the property late last year.
Boston-based Pyramid Advisors LLC and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund just announced plans to throw $10 million into the 303-room structure.
They will spruce up the lobby, restaurant and guest rooms, while adding high-speed Internet access and a new marble entrance.
The lodging will be tagged "Hotel Columbia" from the end of this month until March 2005, when it plans to raise a Marriott flag. If all goes as planned, the renovation will finish around the same time.
"Having a major national brand like Marriott added to our hospitality community will be a tremendous asset," said Mayor Bob Coble. "This is just an- other step in the exciting re- vitalization of downtown Columbia, and we could not be happier."
Don Bomer, the new general manager of the property, said the revamp will allow the hotel to "fill a void" in the Columbia market.
Pyramid Advisors and Morgan Stanley snapped up eight Adam's Mark hotels in December 2003, for 2,887 rooms total.
St. Louis, Mo.-based HBE Corp., which owns the Adam's Mark brand, collected $236 million in the deal. Michael Franco, head of the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, said at the time that the hotels were bought at a "significant discount."
Adam's Mark, like many hotel brands, struggled in the wake of 9/11.
It was also hurt by allegations of racial discrimination and an NAACP boycott, something that South Carolina hotels know about only too well.
Kyle Stock covers tourism. He can be reached at 937-5763 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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