CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston's third full-service hotel is open for business, and city leaders believe the hotel will increase the city's attractiveness to business and leisure travelers alike.
The Four Points by Sheraton hotel, located at the former Ramada location at 600 Kanawha Boulevard East, had a grand opening Wednesday morning, which was attended by hotel representatives and local government officials.
Albany, N.Y.-based BBL Hospitality conducted the $15 million renovation of the hotel, which took just over a year and resulted in the replacement of nearly everything in the hotel.
"There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into this," said Keith McClanahan, a senior vice president a BBL Carlton of Charleston, which is affiliated with BBL Hospitality.
Now, the 12-story hotel has 176 rooms on its third through tenth floors, 24 of which are two-room suites. Each room has free Wi-Fi, coffee and bottled water in additional to typical amenities.
The first floor contains the lobby, indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, bar, restaurant serving breakfast and dinner and 12,000 square feet of modern meeting space.
On the eleventh and twelfth floors, private condominiums are still under construction and will be complete at a later date. The second floor will house offices for BBL Carlton.
The Recovery Sports Grill, which opened in October 2012, is attached to the hotel, providing another dining location for guests. The Recovery Sports Grill brand is owned by BBL Hospitality.
"It is absolutely a perfect fit for this area -- there is not a better spot than right here," McClanahan said of the hotel and its location on Kanawha Bouleavard.
The Four Points is the first Starwood Hotels & Resorts property in West Virginia. Starwood includes brands like Sheraton and Westin.
Though the hotel adheres to the Four Points brand, it's not without local flavor.
Local and regional photos adorn the rooms and corridors of the hotel, and the shelves behind the front desk are stacked with Blenko glass. The hotel's bar also keeps at least one local beer on tap -- which featured a Charleston Brewing Co. draft on Wednesday.
The hotel was first opened in 1966. Known as the Charleston House Hotel, it operated under the Holiday Inn brand for years until being converted to a Ramada in February.
During the renovation, BBL Hospitality opted to keep the hotel open as a Ramada until construction was complete.
"We did not want to lay the staff off," McClanahan said of the decision to keep the hotel open during renovation work. "We did not want to create a loss of employment."