Hotel near Reid Park reborn as La Quinta Inns & Suites

2014-02-17T00:00:00Z 2014-02-18T10:56:13Z Hotel near Reid Park reborn as La Quinta Inns & SuitesBy Ashley Powell Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 17, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Dated, ‘60s-style comforters, dark green walls and old light fixtures marked the inside of the former Randolph Park Hotel and Suites.

After a yearlong closure for a top-to-bottom, $4.5 million renovation, the building at 102 N. Alvernon Way has reopened as a bright and modern La Quinta Inns & Suites.

“We made the conscious decision to close the hotel so we could more effectively renovate it,” said Jerry Fischer, president of Desert Hospitality Management.

The company manages the property for Humberto Lopez’s HSL Properties, which owns it.

Fischer expects a 70-percent occupancy rate once the hotel has its grand opening at the end of February.

The hotel is now open to the public, though there is some ongoing construction.

“We wanted to get the doors open, get people in, and get to doing business,” general manager Amy Wilcox said.

Thanks to La Quinta’s location, guests have access to a variety of activities in midtown Tucson.

Nearby, there are Reid Park and Reid Park Zoo, Randolph Golf Complex, El Con Mall — with its shopping, food and movie theaters — and 12 restaurants, all within walking distance.

The university and the Tucson Medical Center are also just 3 miles away.

The hotel’s renovation and reopening is good news for local tourism, said Graeme Hughes, director of sales at Visit Tucson.

Hughes noted that the hotel’s proximity to Reid Park’s golf courses and tennis courts will be great for athletes and fitness fans who choose to stay there.

The previous hotel “was a distressed property that did not have a lot of guest satisfaction,” Hughes said. “La Quinta is a very positive development ... the brand instantly adds recognition to the property.”

A green “Now Open” banner welcomes guests into the updated version of a hotel that’s stood for more than 40 years, and gone by various names.

The building features exterior stonework, fresh paint and a cleaned-up landscape.

Inside, the hotel has brand-new lighting, dark wood furniture, a full breakfast area and bar, and green, yellow and red upholsteries.

All the rooms have been made over with new furniture, bathrooms with granite countertops, new bedding, carpet and flooring, photos of Arizona sunsets, 37-inch flat-screen TVs, half-size refrigerators, microwaves, single-cup coffee makers and new, radio-operated hotel key cards that don’t require swiping through a slot.

“Every square foot of the property was redone,” Fischer said.

Another big renovation was the pool and fitness center, which faces the pool area. The new pool is up to 5 feet deep, and is equipped with a wheelchair lift. The pool area also has a new hot tub.

Room rates start at $99 per night, plus taxes.

La Quinta reduced the number of rooms from 157 to 153 in order to knock out a floor and create a two-story lobby that will house the front desk, seating, a 24-hour snack store and the business center.

The lobby is still under construction, and the bar is not yet open.

Fischer said the La Quinta brand, which comprises more than 800 hotels, is the hotel’s biggest asset.

Rooms were booked through the weekend because of the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase. Meanwhile, employees race to get the hotel ready for its grand opening.

“It’s been a fun ‘hecticness,’” Wilcox said.

Ashley Powell is a NASA Space Grant intern at the University of Arizona and the Star. Contact her at apowell@azstarnet.com or 573-4674.

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