Closed Hotel May Reopen Across from Detroit's Cobo Center

Although it's currently closed, Detroit's Hotel Pontchartrain could reopen as soon as 2013, according to local newspaper the Detroit Free Press, which reported this week that the hotel's new owner, Mexican hotel developer Gabriel Ruiz, is in negotiations to revive the hotel as a Crowne Plaza following a planned renovation.

The property, which will have 413 guest rooms, is especially attractive for of its location: It's positioned directly across the street from Motor City's convention center, the Cobo Center, which could help Detroit attract more citywide conventions.

"You're going to be able to put speakers, VIPs, right across the street from the convention center, which is very attractive to planners," Bill Bohde, senior vice president of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Free Press.

The Pontch, as it's known locally, was built in 1965, when it was downtown Detroit's first major hotel since the 1920s. It's been closed and in receivership since going into foreclosure in 2009.