|By Hilary Kraus, The Fayetteville
Observer, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 23, 2009--PINEHURST -- The Pinehurst Resort has completed a $15 million remodeling of the Carolina hotel that includes the addition of a presidential suite that goes for $1,200 a night.
The resort, which is privately owned by the Dedman family, completed the final phase of the remodeling project in April. It involved redoing guest rooms in the "newer" east wing of the hotel. That section of the hotel opened in 1914-15.
Janeen Driscoll, the communications director for Pinehurst Resort, said the renovations were the most extensive in 20 years. The hotel was built in 1901 and has 220 rooms.
Driscoll said that despite the current economy, the company recognized the long-term value in the project.
"In an economic downturn, the hospitality industry is holding back on capital-improvement projects," she said. "Because we have a family whose sole property is Pinehurst, they are able to invest in the future."
About $12 million went toward overhauling the guest rooms in the hotel and at the Manor Inn, a 45-room hotel in the historic village.
A $1 million presidential suite also was added. The 1,600-square-foot suite has a parlor, private dining room, connecting bedroom and study and a marble bathroom. It is equipped with four TVs, including a 60-inch flat-screen TV that can be used for business presentations. The $1,200-a-night rate includes breakfast and dinner.
Driscoll said the company expects to benefit from the remodeling within the next few years.
"Our customer satisfaction surveys have shown definite positive gains as a result of what we've done," she said. "The room satisfaction rate alone has shown significant improvement over the last four years, as well as their intent to return."
Guest rooms on the main floor were upgraded with new decor and beds, flat-screen TVs and marble bathrooms. Additional boardrooms also were added.
The open-area exhibit hall has been changed into a 14,000-square-foot facility called the Carolina Hall and Terrace.
"The addition of boardrooms, updates to our grand ballroom and Carolina Hall and Terrace reflect the change in the business meeting environment, where the need now is to have more flexible meeting space that can be used for various types of events," Driscoll said.
Staff writer Hilary Kraus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-4848, ext. 331.
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