(Memphis) As thousands of people converge on Memphis for Elvis Week, the city is in the midst of a major hotel shakeup.
The iconic Marriott Hotel downtown is no more. It’s now a Sheraton, and that could be good news for Memphis tourism.
Host Hotel and Resorts own the hotel and say it decided to change the management and brand in an attempt to have a fresh start with the Cook Convention Center and the Pyramid as Bass Pro moves in.
The company says they are investing millions of dollars to renovate the entire hotel.
Memphis CVB President Kevin Kane says it’s a part of a larger renovation of the Pinch District and great news for the city.
“They’re going to make a major investment in the hotel. All the guest rooms and all the common areas are going to get a major upgrade so we are excited about that,” said Kane.
Host Hotels and Resorts employ more than 250 people at the hotel, and they say every employee was offered their job back with the switch, and only a few declined.
The group plans on the renovation attracts more tourist which will mean more jobs.
The hotel will also handle all food and beverage needs at the Cook Convection Center, and as the hotel steps up its game, Kane says the CVB is going to have to as well by upgrading the convention center to attract more conventions.
“Obviously we’re very concerned when we look at what Nashville just built just 200 miles away. A spectacular state of the art 21st Century convention center that’s about three and a half times the size of ours,” said Kane.
Kane says upcoming plans could tear down and replace the convention center or involve major upgrades.
The former Marriott downtown isn’t the only switch-up.
The Marriott at 240 and Perkins is also no more.
It is now called Hotel Memphis and the Marriott has moved to its new space at 240 and Poplar after a major renovation of that building.
Kane believes Hotel Memphis is just a transition name and a major hotel chain will fill that space within the next couple of years.