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Courtyard by Marriott to Replace Holiday Inn in Woodland Hills, California

New Owner, Wolff Urban Development, Has Closed the 122-room Property
for Extensive Renovations to be Re-Opened as a Courtyard

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Daily News, Los AngelesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

March 22, 2012--The Woodland Hills Holiday Inn, a Ventura Boulevard landmark for more than four decades, has closed and will morph into a Courtyard by Marriott, the new property owner said Wednesday.

Wolff Urban Development recently purchased the property at 21101 Ventura Blvd., from Beverly Hills-based Emerik Properties Corp., which built the six-story hotel in the mid-1960s. Terms were not disclosed.

But the building will get a "multi-million dollar" makeover before being operated as a Marriott franchise, said Adam Keller, Los Angeles-based Wolff's vice president of special projects.

"We're really excited about being in that part of the Valley," Keller said.

The hotel was showing its age, too.

"We think it's kind of at the end of its life cycle as a Holiday Inn and we're fortunate enough to usher it into a new era. Hotels take a beating and every hotel requires a significant capital investment at some point during its life cycle."

Wolff owns six hotels, including a Courtyard by Marriott in Sherman Oaks.

The 46-year-old hotel closed at the end of February.

International Hotels Group LLC, parent of Holiday Inn, had little so say about the development.

"The property in question, an independently owned and operated franchised hotel, was removed from the Holiday Inn system March 1, 2012," the company said in an email.

Marriott officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The 60,000 square

foot hotel will essentially be new from the inside out.

The makeover includes renovating the 122 rooms and a structural remodel of the ground floor lobby, meeting rooms and kitchen, according to documents filed with the city's Building and Safety Department. The exterior will also be freshened up.

Wolff hopes to start the renovation in about a month and complete the work in six months, Keller said.

"We think it's a great community asset and it's in a great location. It's very convenient to Warner Center and just a quiet part of that end of the Valley," Keller said.

It will also serve a different client base than the nearby Warner Center Marriott, which has a huge amount of meeting space and is a full service hotel.

Marriotts' Courtyards are focused on meeting the needs of today's travelers, Keller said.

"We're comfortable with that brand. We think it will do a great job of attracting travelers to the area, maybe a little bit better than the Holiday Inn brand," he said.

The hotel will have about 50 employees when it reopens.

Economist William W. Roberts, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at CSUN, said the deal reflects confidence the economy is recovering.

"I think the Courtyard by Marriott is the place you go and stay for a period of time. If you are traveling on business it's kind of a nice place to be. I don't see Holiday Inns serving a business clientele," he said.

City Councilman Dennis Zine, who serves the area, said the renovation and re-brand will be good for his district.

"The multimillion dollar hotel remodel will be a wonderful enhancement to the community of Woodland Hills. The renovation of the property ... is a terrific economic benefit for the area," Zine said in a statement.



(c)2012 the Daily News (Los Angeles)

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