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Historic hotel back in business

The Pennsylvania is now a Marriott.

By PAUL SWIDER
Published October 18, 2006


Its huge, red vertical sign lighting the night, the Pennsylvania Hotel reopened last week as the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown St. Petersburg.

Culminating years of plans and a menu of developers, the 81-year-old hotel at 300 Fourth St. N is fully refurbished and also adds a new building to hold its 128 rooms, said D'Marie Brennan, the new general manager of the hotel.

Doors swung to no guests on the first night, but the next night, Oct. 11, Franklin Goldberg of Delray Beach was the first customer and the lucky recipient of a $1 stay in one of the hotel's suites.

The $10-million construction and renovation project was to be finished last month by WB Development Services of Orlando.

Pennsylvania Hotel Associates LLC is the owner of the hotel that will be managed by Marriott subsidiary Pinnacle Inc.

The original hotel rooms were combined to make modern sizes, but many old fixtures, floors, even the original elevator, were restored to their 1925 condition.

For its grand opening in November, the hotel will show off some artifacts workers found during construction, as well as donated photos and other memorabilia of its long life.

The ground floor of the hotel holds a bar, the Scarlett Lounge, a breakfast restaurant, the Courtyard Cafe, and a small store, all open to the public.

For guests, the hotel contains a meeting room, indoor pool, whirlpool and exercise room. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building.

The original hotel was owned by the Bond family since 1937 before the family sold it in 2000. The new building is listed as a Marriott but its sign pays homage to the Pennsylvania, and the top of its western wall will still include a mural dubbing it the Pennsylvania.

Paul Swider can be reached at 892-2271 or pswider@sptimes.com or by participating in itsyourtimes.com .

[Last modified October 17, 2006, 21:52:27]


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