|By Eddie Fitzgerald, Sun Journal, New
Bern, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 22, 2012--Hilton's New Bern/Riverfront hotel will receive a new title next month as it converges with another major brand hotel chain.
Michael McMahon, general manager of the Hilton New Bern/Riverfront Hotel, said the hotel will be renamed the Doubletree by Hilton New Bern/Riverfront Hotel beginning April 23.
Both of the entities are worldwide conglomerates that should complement each other, McMahon said.
"We are excited," he said. "It is the right fit for our hotel, and it is going to drive more business into the hotel that we haven't seen before."
Guests of the hotel will not notice any difference. The change involves realigning the marketing aspects of the hotel, McMahon said.
"They have worldwide marketing potential with huge sales department offices all over the world as does Hilton," he said.
Doubletree by Hilton will focus on bringing smaller groups of businesses and associations to the New Bern area while Hilton focuses on larger groups looking for hotels with more capacity, McMahon said.
The Hilton New Bern/Riverfront Hotel has 171 rooms.
Doubletree by Hilton is a worldwide brand that includes luxury hotels and resorts as well as select service hotels trademarked by Hilton Worldwide. There are currently more than 220 locations with 55,000 rooms worldwide. Most Doubletree hotels are independently owned and operated by franchisees. However, some are owned and/or managed by Hilton Worldwide.
A spokesman for Doubletree by Hilton could not be reached for comment.
The riverfront hotel was hurt financially after Hurricane Irene battered the area last year, causing more than $500,000 in damage. The day after the storm, 70 men from Paragon Construction out of Colorado, which specializes in storm recovery, brought in equipment to repair water damage to the hotel.
Paragon Construction's legal department is dealing with the hotel's insurance company to receive payment for its work. It has already received two checks but still is trying to collect just under $500,000, McMahon said.
The roof of the hotel still needs some repairs, McMahon said.
Hilton filed a claim with its insurance company for lost business due to the hurricane damage. McMahon did not say how much the Hilton is seeking, but "it's a large number," he said.
Eddie Fitzgerald can be reached at 252-635-5675 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @staffwriter3.
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