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March 03--The Marriott at Renaissance Park has completed more than $2 million in renovations and capped 2013 with solid occupancy rates, according to the hotel's ownership.

Andrew Cajka, of Southern Hospitality Group, and Spartanburg businessman Jimmy Gibbs purchased the Spartanburg hotel in January 2011. Cajka said renovations, completed over a two-year period, included new dining and lounge areas and upfitting of the hotel's 247 rooms and suites.

"Our performance last year was consistent with the Spartanburg market that saw a slight increase over the previous year," Cajka said. "We've been very pleased with the response we've received from the community on our renovations."

Cajka said the hotel ranked in the Top 75 of all Marriott properties in the United States last year -- a first for the property.

Looking forward to 2014, Cajka said he is excited about the city of Spartanburg's streetscape improvement plans to upgrade North Church Street from the Marriott at Renaissance Park into downtown.

The plans for North Church Street call for lighting and street trees on the Marriott side of the street. New "acorn" lighting, with white, clear, energyeffi cient lights for pedestrians will be added along the stretch from the hotel to Morgan Square; street trees and "street furniture" also would be installed. Trees and planters would be added as "literal and psychological" buffers between the sidewalk and traffic lanes.

"The connectivity from Wofford College, which is right next to us, and the Marriott to Main Street where so many positive things are happening is important," Cajka said.

The hotel will continue to focus its efforts on conference groups with six local sales executives focused on that effort, he said.

"The real benefit we have is we have local ownership who are committed to the property," Cajka said. "We're in a really good position and as a partner, we think Spartanburg has great days ahead."

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