Revamped city hotel will be part of Sheraton brand
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In addition to getting a new sports bar on its ground floor and a top-to-bottom makeover, the former Charleston House Hotel will soon come under a new, upscale brand.
Officials with BBL Hospitality, the company that owns the building, confirmed they had inked a deal with Starwood Hotels and Resorts to brand the Kanawha Boulevard hotel a Four Points by Sheraton.
"We won't start advertising it as a Sheraton until after we remodel the hotel," said Keith McClanahan, BBL Hospitality senior vice president.
The hotel should be completely remodeled in about a year, he said.
Mayor Danny Jones, who has worked to get the hotel refurbished for several years, was pleased with the development.
"This is a continuation of a vision that is really going to help Charleston," Jones said.
The hotel will be an upscale addition to the hospitality business in the capital city, and it can only help Charleston attract more conferences and conventions, he said.
"This hotel will give us more upscale rooms," Jones added.
Jama Jarrett, director of office operations for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, agreed it would be a welcome addition.
"This will help us strengthen our marketing initiatives for the city," she said.
Convention and Visitors Bureau staff members will be able to talk about a Sheraton within walking distance of the Civic Center and other amenities to attract more visitors.
This will mean more revenue for Charleston businesses and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is funded by hotel/motel tax revenue.
"We strive to get heads in beds and keep all of our hotels in the city full," Jarrett said.
Jarrett has heard good things about Four Points by Sheraton hotels, she said.
"Sheraton is well respected and they have a great reputation," she said.
BBL Hospitality will spend about $15 million to renovate the aging hotel, McClanahan said.
The meeting rooms are among the amenities receiving upgrades, he said. A new sports bar, the Recovery Grill, should open on the Virginia Street side of the hotel sometime next week. It will be open to the general public.
"This is an exciting time for Charleston," McClanahan said. "I think this will help all of the businesses around Charleston."
The addition of the sports bar did not take any space from the hotel proper, he said.
This is because BBL Hospitality opted to put the bar on the Virginia Street side of the building in a vacant space formerly rented to other businesses, he said.
McClanahan said the hotel would be full service but would not be advertised as such by Sheraton. He was unsure why that decision was made.
Workers remodeled two mock rooms for representatives from Sheraton, he said. The hotel people liked the rooms and offered to run the facility.
"The rooms met their specifications," McClanahan said.
The newly remodeled hotel should have about 196 rooms, he said. The old Charleston House Hotel had about 256 rooms.
"There's just no other place like this around Charleston," McClanahan said.
BBL Hospitality has 14 hotels in the eastern United States from New York to Florida. However, this is the first Sheraton in the company's chain, he said.
The new hotel also will have four condominiums on the 12th floor, McClanahan said. Company executives are discussing whether to build four or five condominiums on the 11th floor as well.
"Those will be the last thing we do," McClanahan said.