SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A major hotel chain is coming to Sacramento and moving into a well known riverfront retreat. The Westin Hotel will take over the Le Rivage Hotel early next year.
“It’s great news, it’s very exciting,” General Manager Mark Fitzgerald said.
It’s a new day and a new name for one of Sacramento’s fanciest hotels.
“We’ve been expecting this a long time. The hotel’s been for sale. We are going to become a Westin, and be the first Westin in Sacramento,” said Fitzgerald.
Le Rivage has struggled since opening up when the economy crashed in 2008. Last year the owner, Sacramento developer Robert Cook, filed for bankruptcy.
“The hotel in the past struggled because it wasn’t a recognizable name,” said Mike Testa.
Testa, from the Sacramento Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, says the Westin name will raise the hotel’s profile.
“When you did an internet search for hotels in Sacramento and you saw the names that you new, and Le Rivage, you’ll probably go with the names you knew,” said Testa.
Testa thinks the unknown name and unfamiliar location in Sacramento’s Pocket neighborhood kept some customers away. Now Westin has a chance to reel them into the riverfront.
“Because it’s a recognized brand, they have a loyal following. So, there are a number of people who, if there is a Westin in the market, they’re gonna stay in that property,” said Testa.
More people staying at the floundering hotel means more people eating at Scott’s Seafood Restaurant.
“We’re very excited to have a new partner,” said Adam Irvine.
Irvine owns the restaurant attached to the hotel, and he could use a boost. The tough economy forced him to close his Loehmann’s Plaza location earlier this year.
“So many ideas bubbling out here, this area has so much potential. This property has so much potential,” said Irvine.
All that potential doesn’t guarantee customers and cash; but the major chain is taking a gamble by picking up the boutique hotel for a reported $16 million.
That’s quite a deal for the waterfront property that’s been underwater since they first opened.
Westin is expected to takeover operations in March of 2013.