Hotel Reflagging Affords New Image, Route to Growth in Little Rock

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 12:00 am  

As a result, the Little Rock Clarion will be able to charge 5 to 8 percent less than the Hilton did, he said.

The hotel will be Little Rock’s only Clarion.

“There are obvious synergies between the two brands, so it makes sense for this hotel to reposition to Clarion,” said Dan Sweiger, spokesman for Clarion, in an email.

However, a difference between the brands is that “Clarion focuses on providing a more casual and social environment that is more accessible to mid-market travelers and events,” he said.

The hotel will continue to operate a full-service restaurant and 12,000 SF of meeting space, as it did as a Hilton.

At the Peabody

Bruce Skidmore, sales and marketing director for The Peabody Little Rock, said details on what changes will come to the hotel are in a “holding pattern.”

Fairwood Capital LLC of Memphis hasn’t yet officially purchased the hotel, so The Peabody’s staff is waiting to hear which hotel managers will retain their jobs and what renovations will occur. All hourly associates will keep their jobs, Skidmore said.

“We’re all kind of looking for those answers, too, and I’m sure we’ll find out soon,” Skidmore said.

Fairwood intends to spend about $16 million to remodel and upgrade the property at 200 W. Markham St.

The project originally was built as the Excelsior Hotel by developer Doyle Rogers in 1982, and it had $33 million worth of renovations for its grand reopening as The Peabody in January 2002.

Some changes are certain, if the deal closes this year as planned. The hotel’s name and its restaurant’s name will change, Skidmore said. Cappricio Grill is a name specific to the Peabody brand.



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