Hotel management company Davidson Hotel Company has completed a multi-million-dollar renovation of the Sheraton Iowa City hotel.
The company says the project touched nearly every aspect of the hotel, including the 234 guestrooms and all public spaces, and added such Sheraton signature amenities as the Sweet Sleeper Bed and The Link @ Sheraton experienced by Microsoft.
Davidson and RockBridge Capital are joint-venture owners of the property, which Davidson also manages.
“With this renovation, we have completely redefined the entire guest experience and reinvigorated the hotel,” says John Belden, Davidson’s president and chief executive officer. “Our goal was to implement a plan that would make this hotel a focal point for the community, as well as attract business and leisure travelers visiting the city and the University of Iowa. We believe we have achieved our objective. The Sheraton Iowa City’s renovation is an ongoing piece of the Sheraton brand’s multi-billion dollar, world-wide plan to reposition and re-establish Sheraton as the leader amongst its brand peers.”
Adds Belden: “This is our seventh university hotel, a unique niche where we have a strong, proven track record and which now accounts for nearly 15 per cent of our portfolio. These hotels are typically on or near university campuses in markets that tend to be more stable as a result of the diverse mix of meeting, business and leisure guests there, much of which is related to the local university.”
According to Bently Kriewald, general manager, the hotel is strategically located on the city’s historic Pedestrian Mall with its sidewalk cafes, unique shopping and gourmet dining.
“With our prime location in the downtown area, our close proximity to the University of Iowa and our fresh, bold new look, we expect to significantly expand our meetings and conference business,” says Kriewald. “With our additional meeting space, we now have more than 12,000 square feet, accommodating groups ranging from eight to 450, for any occasion from business functions to reunions or weddings.”
The adjoining Vetro Conference Center, Iowa City’s most contemporary convention space, offers an additional 15,000 square feet of event space.
“The Sheraton’s setting was perfect for our newest restaurant concept, ‘SHARE, Wine Lounge and Small Plate Bistro’,” says Steve Kilory, Davidson’s vice president-food and beverage. “The concept’s focus on unique wines by the glass and fusion cuisine has helped activate the hotel’s public space, and is a concept that has been well received at other hotels within our portfolio. The SHARE concept draws customers from inside and outside the hotel where foot traffic is strong, attracting guests as well as street walk-ins. Another popular aspect of the restaurant has been our use of locally produced ingredients, ranging from organic produce to nationally recognized cheeses.”
“The nearby university represents a strong reliable source of demand for meeting space,” comments Patrick Lupsha, Davidson’s chief operating officer. “We have substantially upgraded our meeting space, including all-new finishes, carpet and lighting that add a completely new feel and functionality. Combined with the other aspects of this comprehensive renovation, we believe the hotel is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in this market.”
Located at 210 S. Dubuque Street in Iowa City, the nine-story hotel features high-speed Internet access throughout the property, an indoor heated pool and indoor whirlpool, a 24-hour fitness center and a tanning salon.
Guestrooms offer 37-inch flat-screen televisions, Sheraton’s New White Linen Bedding and Sweet Sleeper Beds, and oversized work space.
Located on preferred floors, Sheraton Club guestrooms offer upgraded amenities, plush robes, free high-speed Internet access and complimentary fitness-center access. Club guests also have special access to the Club Lounge, an upscale space that features complimentary breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres and a variety of beverage options.
RockBridge provides capital to the hospitality industry through its RockBridge Hospitality Funds and First Mortgage Investment Program. The principals of RockBridge have formed and managed nine investment funds totaling nearly $1 billion, across multiple platforms with both institutional and private investors. For more information, visit www.rockbridgecapital.com.
Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Davidson Hotel Company is a full-service hotel owner and third-party management company that provides management, development/renovation, acquisition, consulting and accounting services for the hospitality industry.
The company currently owns and/or manages 37 upscale, independent and branded hotels with nearly 10,500 rooms across the United States, including such affiliations as Westin, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Renaissance, Crowne Plaza, Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn. Additional information on Davidson may be found at www.davidsonhotels.com.