Marriott hotel now operating in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: Business

Marriott hotel now operating in Mesa

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Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2004 9:28 pm | Updated: 5:51 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Mesa finally has a full-service Marriott.

Nearly a year after it got new owners, the 273-room hotel at 200 N. Centennial Way in downtown Mesa, got a $7 million makeover and a new name.

The former Sheraton Phoenix East-Mesa has been rebranded as the Marriott Phoenix Mesa. The shrouds covering the Marriott signs for more than a month were removed Thursday when Marriott officials gave the property a thumbs up.

The Marriott flag is a big boost for Mesa’s image among would-be visitors, said Robert Brinton, director of the Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau. “If you look at the hotel industry two names are able to drive business — Marriott and Hilton. For Mesa to have both is a great statement about our city,” Brinton said.

“This is symbolic of things happening downtown. It’s symbolically important and it’s economically important.” San Diego-based Pacifica Host Hotels bought the inn from Meristar Hospitality Corp. in August for an undisclosed amount of money.

The new owners immediately embarked on the upgrade that would make the hotel Marriott-worthy.

That included dumping the dark purple harlequin motif in the lobby and replacing it with sunny yellow, peach and green decor, fancying up the trim with inlaid wood designs and building a classy lobby coffee bar serving up Starbucks premium brews. The new look is decidedly art deco.

And that’s just the start of the makeover that included scraping off the popcorn ceilings, polishing or replacing the wood bannisters, even upgrading the TV screens that tell meetinggoers where to find their sessions. Landscapers dug up all the flower beds and added fresh flora. The restaurant was gutted and redesigned. Even the concrete patios were stained a mottled rust color to blend better with the brown rooftops on the poolside structures.

Inside, all the floors and walls have been newly painted, papered, carpeted or marble-tiled. The light fixtures are all new.

The hotel spent $10,000 just on stainless steel elevator ceilings, said Gene Conklin, general manager.

“Our renovations went from top to bottom, front to back,” Conklin said. “There’s not one thing in here not touched. We asked, ‘Is this right for the kind of guests we want to bring to Mesa?’ If not we changed it.”

The guest rooms got major makeovers from furniture to plumbing fixtures, he said.

“We tore out every ceiling and bathroom in every guest room,” Conklin said. The new brass hardware on guest room doors cost the company $80 per door, he said.

The 20,000 square feet of meeting space also was upgraded. Add that to the 30,000 square feet at Centennial Center, Mesa’s conference center which shares a courtyard with the hotel, and Conklin figures he is primed to pick up a lot of new meetings business.

“We anticipate our occupancy will rise greatly,” he said.

For the rest of this year, guests will get a bargain. The hotel plans to up the daily rate to match the upgraded property, but not until high season starts in January, Conklin said.

In January, last year’s $129 winter rate will jump to $169. A guest will cough up $199 for one of the 23 rooms on the concierge floor, which includes CD players in the room, chocolate truffles on the pillow, a private lounge with breakfast goodies, soft drinks, snacks and a dedicated concierge to make dinner reservations or book seats for a performance at the nearby and nearly-done Mesa Arts Center.

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