Inner Harbor hotel begins renovations Holiday Inn to get $6.3 million overhaul


Owners of the Holiday Inn-Inner Harbor have launched a $6.3 million renovation that is designed to help the 375-room hotel attract more business travelers and conventioneers, as well as families on vacation.

Jack Maikranz, the general manager, said construction began this month and will be completed by January. He said the work is part of an effort by the hotel's owners to take advantage of the building's prominent location at the southwest corner of Howard and Lombard streets, near the Convention Center, the light-rail line and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Work will include thorough renovations of all the guest rooms and lobby areas; the creation of a new restaurant and lounge called McKenna's; and construction of a 1,100-square-foot "corporate exercise center" with saunas and "the largest indoor pool in Baltimore."

The old revolving rooftop restaurant, which hasn't operated for years, will be converted to a lavish banquet facility available for corporate meetings and other events. The existing ballroom and other meeting rooms will be spruced up, and two executive boardrooms will be added to accommodate business meetings. The Bird's Nest, an outdoor cafe that overlooks the ballpark, will remain.

"We're doing it over from top to bottom," Mr. Maikranz said. "We're going to establish ourselves right in the center of the mid-scale market. The owners felt it was a good investment. The new ballpark makes this side of downtown very attractive."

Built in 1964, the hotel is owned by Prime Motors Inns Limited Partnership of New Jersey and managed by Winegardner & Hammons Inc., a Cincinnati-based company that is overseeing the renovation. A Prime Motor Inns subsidiary, AMI Operating Partners L.P., filed for a pre-packaged bankruptcy in February and came out of it May 28.

The $6.3 million worth of improvements for the downtown Holiday Inn is the largest single amount earmarked for any of the eight hotels, although the Holiday Inn near Baltimore-Washington International Airport also will be renovated extensively, said William A. Boggess, vice president and controller at Winegardner & Hammons.

Rates at the Inner Harbor Holiday Inn range from $69 to $109 a night and are not expected to change as a result of the renovations, Mr. Maikranz said. The hotel will remain in full operation while the work is under way, he added.

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