While New York hotels on average are seeing revenue per available room decline, the Crowne Plaza in Times Square, fresh from an $85 million renovation, is defying that trend.
The hotel, which first opened in 1990, completed the massive overhaul in December, redesigning the hotel’s 770 rooms, lobby space and almost 25,000 square feet of meeting facilities. Since the completion of the project, the hotel has seen double-digit gains in its RevPAR index every month of this year, according to Nan Molofsky, senior vice president of the hotel’s ownership group City Investment Fund.
The Times Square Crowne Plaza renovations are the centerpiece of a brandwide $250 million investment in major renovations of its Americas portfolio. More than 50 Crowne Plaza properties are undergoing some level of renovations, according to parent company InterContinental Hotels Group. By the end of this year, about 50 percent of the 193 hotels in the Americas will have gone through renovation, said Gina LaBarre,Crowne Plaza’s vice president of brand management in the Americas.
Crowne Plaza has positioned itself as a meetings- focused brand, with about 40 percent of its business coming from meetings, LaBarre said. This has included its “The Place to Meet” initiative launched in 2003, in which the brand instituted a two-hour response guarantee to meeting business inquiries and a Crowne meetings director appointed to each event to serve as a point of contact for meeting planners, as well as a source for daily debriefings to ensure meetings are running smoothly and within their budgets, she said.
Originally published June 22, 2009