|By Marilyn Miller, The Akron Beacon
Journal, OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
August 28, 2009 --A Fairlawn hotel will be converted to a more upscale brand with a familiar name.
The Four Points Sheraton at 3150 W. Market St. will be renovated and become a DoubleTree hotel. Construction will start in September and is to be completed by the spring.
The hotel is across from Summit Mall and next door to the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn. Both hotels are owned by RDA Hotel Management Co. DoubleTree is also a member of the Hilton family of hotel chains.
The long-standing relationship with Hilton opened the door for RDA to make the brand change.
"We have had a 40-year relationship with Hilton and want to try to capitalize on our success with them," said Rennick Andreoli, who is the world's longest continuous owner of a Hilton franchise. "We weighed our options, but we feel this is the best fit for us. . . .It just seemed like the next logical step."
Andreoli, spokesman for the RDA group of investors, said the change is a huge commitment. "There will be a significant infusion of capital for the hotel," he said, estimating costs of more than $800,000. "We keep reinvesting and recommitting in this tough economic time, but we feel strongly about the Hilton chain brand."
The Hilton Akron/Fairlawn also underwent a major renovation recently at its restaurant, Beau's Grille, with a new terrace for outdoor dining, a huge stone fireplace and high-definition TVs. Bathrooms were upgraded and doubled in size.
Andreoli said the improvements keep him in business. He also credits the importance of Summit Mall and the support of the city of Fairlawn.
"Rennick is a big part of our business community and an asset for the city. He has premier property and maintains them well," said Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth. "The renovation is another plus to the area."
Andreoli said the beauty of having two Hilton names side by side is guest convenience. Guests will be able to use the same reservation system with the same toll-free Hilton number, have access to services at both hotels and accumulate Hilton reward points at either hotel.
The group anticipates the upgraded hotel will mean additional jobs but did not provide a number.
The hotel has gone through several name changes. It was a Holiday Inn in the early 1960s and a Days Inn in 1990, when Andreoli's group purchased the property.
In 1998, the hotel was renovated to become a Four Points Sheraton with 91 guest rooms, 6,000 square feet of conference space, an indoor pool and restaurant.
The DoubleTree will have "a new, fresh, contemporary look for the 30- and 40-something traveler," said General Manager Tim Winter. "It will appeal to some of the corporate and leisure markets."
The first phase of construction will begin with the exterior. There will be a new front awning and canopy, front columns, lighting and a glass entranceway with automatic doors.
The lobby will be doubled and a business center added.
The guest rooms will be renovated with new bathrooms, vanities, wall coverings, furniture, lighting and carpeting. Each room will include a 32-inch LCD television.
The hotel will keep its pool and fitness center, but will upgrade and add exercise equipment. The restaurant area will be expanded and free high-speed Internet service will be provided.
DoubleTree is also known for its signature warm chocolate chip cookies given to guests when they arrive.
Andreoli said the hotel will remain open during the renovation.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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