The former Renaissance Scottsdale Resort has a new name, new management and undisclosed plans for the future. The venerable 171-room inn, which straddles the Scottsdale-Paradise Valley border, is tucked behind lush landscaping next to the Scottsdale Borgata shopping center at Scottsdale Road and Rose Lane.
Canvas banners hanging over the old marquees indicate it is now dubbed the Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort.
The owners chose not to retain the Renaissance affiliation, said new general manager Tim Adams.
Adams said the hotel will be operated as an independent "for a while," but "there has been some action on rebranding."
Marriott International turned the resort's management over to Memphis, Tenn.-based Davidson Hotels Co. a week ago, he said.
Rumors swirled for more than year that Renaissance brand owner Marriott wanted the owners to invest in sprucing up the Scottsdale resort or risk losing the right to keep the Renaissance name. That's similar to the situation with neighbor Mountain Shadows, which eventually closed after losing the Marriott designation and is now awaiting plans by new owners to resuscitate the old resort.
But Adams said it was the owners' choice, not Marriott's, to make the Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort independent.
The new name for the 28-year-old property doesn't sound so new to neighbors, like longtime Scottsdale resident George Zraket, who served as the hotel's first general manager.
Until it was dumped in 2000, "cottonwood" was always part of the property's name in one form or another.
The hotel debuted in 1980 as the Alamos Resort Hotel, named after Scottsdale's first sister city, Alamos, Mexico, Zraket said. Alamos means poplar or cottonwood tree in Spanish, Zraket said, so he used the English version of the Spanish name for the hotel's restaurant.
A few years after opening, Stouffer, which at the time owned an upscale hotel chain, bought the place and renamed it Stouffer's Cottonwood Resort.
In 1994, another hotel company, Renaissance, bought Stouffer and renamed the Scottsdale property the Stouffer Renaissance Cottonwoods Resort. In 1997, Marriott International bought the Renaissance brand and shortened the hotel's name to the Renaissance Cottonwoods Resort.
In 2000, the resort changed names again - to the Renaissance Scottsdale Resort - because Scottsdale carries clout with world travelers, then-general manager Richard Bibee said at the time.