|Reading Eagle, Pa.McClatchy-Tribune
January 22, 2009 - The former Sheraton Reading Hotel, Wyomissing, is now the Reading Crowne Hotel -- and will be changing its name one more time this spring as part of its $10 million transition.
Don Dougherty, general manager of the 35-year-old property, said the makeover and change in identity are part of an overall upgrade.
"We have a concise focus on the business traveler and on business meetings," Dougherty explained. "And with the amount of space we have here, we believe this brand lends itself to our plans perfectly. And it's important to continuously upgrade a property: You have to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the market."
Dougherty emphasized that the ownership of the hotel has not changed: It still is owned by Meyer Jabara Hotels, which managed the hotel for many years and acquired it in 1998. The firm, with two main offi ces, in Danbury, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla., owns 25 hotels along the East Coast.
The Wyomissing hotel must meet certain renovation goals, however, before its transition to Crowne Plaza Reading is fully completed. Dougherty said it hopes to meet those goals and make that fi nal transition by late May.
Those renovations included a new facade; an upgrade of all computer systems, which is complete; room renovations, which will include new bedding, carpeting, wall coverings, televisions, art, and bathroom tiling; guest hallways, which also will feature new artwork, carpeting and wall coverings; renovation of the fifth-floor executive lounge and the ballroom; a new fi tness center; and a complete facelift of the pool area.
Dougherty said there will be no interruptions in business as work continues throughout the winter.
"We can renovate a wing at a time," he said. "There's no noise factor."
The hotel has three two-story wings and a fi ve-story tower or main building.
The Crowne Plaza brand is owned by InterContinental Hotels Group, Denham, England. Its other brands include Holiday Inn and Candlewood Suites.
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