When the Holiday Inn Downtown debuted in 1973, “it was THE show in town,” says co-owner Gene
Caleb. The hotel overlooking downtown from just north of the MacVicar Freeway was one of just eight Holiday Inns that featured a top-floor restaurant that rotated for a 360-degree view of the city.
Today, the hotel is midway through a 15-month, $3.5 million renovation to add a sprinkler system and update all the guest rooms, hallways, parking lot and exterior. But perhaps the most dramatic change is
the lobby renovation, which got rid of a closed-off, dark-wood bar and opened up a bright, open space
with a wall of windows for a grand view of downtown.
The renovation follows the latest trend in hotel design, which focuses on making public spaces open
and homey so that people can socialize or work on their computer, or prepare for a business meeting. Caleb said the renovation has increased the hotel’s food and beverage sales as guests and locals enjoy the open space for a meal, meeting or a drink. At left is a photo of the darker, closed-off bar area.