|By Ethan Forman, The Salem News, Beverly,
Mass.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 27, 2011--DANVERS -- Since it was built in the mid-1970s, the hotel has been called the Radisson Ferncroft, the Sheraton Tara Hotel, the Sheraton Ferncroft Resort and the Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore.
Now the 366-room hotel has another new name.
The North Shore's largest hotel may occupy a prominent place on the landscape, as it overlooks Interstate 95 and Route 1. However, a couple of months ago, it quietly took on the name of CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort Boston. The hotel's new general manager, Matt Doucette, said the name change is only temporary.
Doucette said the hotel is in the process of "re-flagging" and seeking a well-known, nationwide hotel brand, "which will be announced in the near future."
The resort only got the Crowne Plaza name in November 2009. It had formerly been known as the Sheraton Ferncroft.
In March, the hotel at 50 Ferncroft Road was bought for $10 million by the New York-based real estate company Lightstone Group through two of the company's real estate investment trusts.
The former owners had put the Danvers resort and nine other hotels up for auction online. Most of those hotels came with CoCo Key water resorts.
In Danvers, the 65,000-square-foot water resort opened in May 2007, and it was built at a cost of $18.6 million. It was the first of its kind in the region.
Lightstone's winning bid worked out to be approximately $27,000 per room key. Plans are to invest another $10 million into the property, which straddles Danvers and Middleton.
Planned improvements include furnishings, systems, an elevator, general branding and signs. The former owners had already invested at least $20 million in the property, including the pelican-themed CoCo Key water park, with its Shark Slam, Pelican Plunge and Barracuda Blast water slides, among other amenities.
Former owner WPH Boston LLC paid $26.6 million for the resort but later sold the golf course and country club for $13 million to help pay for the water resort and hotel upgrades. The hotel management company, Sage Hospitality Resources, was affiliated with the former owners and continued to manage the property after the sale.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @DanverSalemNews.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Salem News, Beverly, Mass.
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