The renovation of the historic Hotel Syracuse will also bring with it a new name. The announcement came Thursday in the dusty lobby from Hotel Owner Ed Riley.
"The Hotel Syracuse moniker, brand is going to retire. She's done a good job, my old girl, as I call her, and retirement will be good. The new name of this hotel and the new partnership that we have will be the Marriott Downtown Syracuse."
Riley knows to most locals, including himself, it will always be affectionately known as the Hotel Syracuse. But he says the new hotel will support a different downtown and different clientele, so it’s critical that the designated convention center hotel carry a national name.
"The Hotel Syracuse when it closed was not considered to be a very good place to stay. We had to get rid of that, and needed to tell a traveler who doesn't know our community that they're going to get a first class experience when they come to this hotel. So, we need to re-position the brand. Not just the brand, it's also having a reservation and a support system of Marriott that's going to ensure that this project and this property is sustainable."
Riley says despite the national moniker, the new hotel will retain many connections to its past and the region. For example, there will be a museum room with artifacts and historical notes about who stayed at the hotel during its first 80 years and memorable events held there. Riley says a local furniture maker will also maintain its presence…
"We've forged a relationship with Stickley, which had original furnishings in this building in 1924, and they'll have furnishings here in our rooms when we re-open."
Don’t forget Harden Furniture…
"The other day, Harden was here to pick up a lot of our old antique chairs from the building. I'm lucky I still have a desk chair now. I thought they were going to take that, too, along with my desk. They're refinishing those, and we're going to bring those back in and re-use them in the hotel, to tell the story about what this means."
…to the central new york community, that is. Riley says they’ll also position restaurant and beverage outlets to showcase locally made food and drink, including Finger Lakes wines.
KEY FINANCING APPROVED
Thursday also brought good news for a chunk of the project’s financing. Within the past few days, M&T Bank has approved an important loan.
Grants are also part of the funding pie. He says work is on schedule…inside demolition is nearly complete, and work has begun outside. Riley is aiming for a spring grand re-opening.