|By Andrew Barksdale, The Fayetteville
Observer, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 29, 2011--The Holiday Inn Bordeaux, one of Fayetteville's oldest and best-known hotels, is changing names and brands, according to its owner.
Dipak Thakker, whose company bought the hotel on Owen Drive in 2007, said Monday he doesn't have any details about the impending changes that he could share yet.
But in anticipation of the change, staff members at the check-in desk have begun calling the property simply The Hotel Bordeaux and Conference Center and telling guests the name is in transition.
On Monday, a printed list of Sunday's events said merely "The Hotel Bordeaux" at the top. The Holiday Inn signs on the property and the building remain intact, however.
The stalwart hotel, with about 38,000 square feet of meeting space, hosts large events such as business conferences, New Year's parties and cotillions. The Board of Elections posts election results in the hotel's ballroom. Candidates rent rooms for victory parties.
Thakker is the principal owner of Aroma Hotels LLC, a Maryland-based company that bought the 295-room hotel for $10.25 million in 2007. The owners later that year announced a $3 million building and room makeover designed to lure business travelers with upgrades such as thicker towels and 32-inch flat-screen TVs.
Aroma Hotels bought the Holiday Inn at Interstate 95 in 2009 for $8.25 million. That property will remain a Holiday Inn, he said.
John Meroski, head of the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he expects the Bordeaux to get a new franchise, which one, he doesn't know, to replace the Holiday Inn brand.
"There is a lot of growth that has happened and continues to happen in the Fayetteville hotel market," Meroski said in an e-mail. "Upgrades will allow for better competition and ultimately a satisfied guest."
Meroski said a new brand will likely mean upgrades to the building and its rooms.
New hotels continue to go up in the Fayetteville area, particularly around Cross Creek Mall, where many of the existing properties remain near full occupancy, industry data show. Aided by city incentives, a $30 million Embassy Suites and convention center is under construction on Lake Valley Drive near the mall.
Doug Peters, president of the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, said he had heard that the Bordeaux hotel name might be transitioning soon, but he didn't have any details. He said sticking with a national hotel brand would be wise to attract people making reservations.
Aroma Hotels bought the Bordeaux from Stout Properties of Fayetteville. The chairman and owner of Stout Properties, Dr. Frank Stout, built the hotel with his father in 1973. It opened as the Bordeaux Motor Inn before becoming a Holiday Inn franchise in 1990.
Staff writer Andrew Barksdale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3565.
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