Hotel Online 
News for the Hospitality Executive

Work Begins to Replace Atlanta's Westin Peachtree Plaza 6,350 Windows;
Some Boarded Windows a Reminder of Freak Tornado Two Years Ago

By Leon Stafford, The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

March 12, 2010--More than 1,800 windows and counting.

That's how many glass panels have been replaced so far at the iconic Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel in downtown Atlanta, two years after a twister hopscotched its way through the area.

Sunday marks the second anniversary of the 2008 storm, which blew out windows, mangled parked cars and sent a river of water down some stairs at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The Westin remains the most visible reminder of the freak tornado. Its checkerboard of gleaming smoke glass windows and blackened wood replacements stands out against a skyline offering no hint of that night's destruction.

Work to replace the 73-floor building's 6,350 windows began in September. Officials said at the time the work would take 12 to 15 months. The panels are being installed at the rate of one floor a week.

The hotel has replaced 1,811 panes of glass as of this week, said Westin General Manager Ed Walls. The replacements are heavier than the originals -- 270 pounds instead of 140 pounds -- to meet today's building codes, which are more stringent than when the hotel was built in 1976.

The 1,068-room, silo-shaped tower is one of the city's largest hotels and an important part of metro Atlanta's $11 billion hospitality industry.

The hotel took advantage of the damage to renovate the rotating Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View, including installing new wheels to keep the dining establishment turning.

The move keeps the hotel competitive with its peers -- the Marriott Marquis, the downtown Ritz Carlton, the Hilton Atlanta and the Hyatt Regency -- which also have been updated.

Hilton Director of Sales and Marketing Edd Karlan said renovations can attract new business. That hotel has seen a 15 percent increase in convention booking interest since it completed its 2009 renovations.

Panther Hospitality Managing Director Paul Breslin said updates like the Westin's and others give the hospitality community reason to take another look at Atlanta.

"Meeting planners who knew us years ago don't know us now," he said.


To see more of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

Copyright (c) 2010, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.