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

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

Further, the famous mallard ducks swimming in the hotel’s fountain and depicted in lights on the exterior of the hotel will disappear.

Peabody is a regional brand, with locations only in Little Rock, Memphis and Orlando, Fla. Marriott, on the other hand, is an international brand with about 3,000 hotels worldwide, Skidmore said. Marriott offers a rewards program for guests and booking through an 800 number and a major brand website.

The building will be updated. “There’s no question that the physical property needs improvements,” Skidmore said.

There will be different brand standards regarding how to answer the telephone and what sheets, towels and bedding are used, he said. Guest rooms will get coffee machines and new flat-screen TVs. “I don’t know what the entire list includes,” Skidmore said.

Marriott likely has researched what it will take to increase year-over-year occupancy, he said.

“I’m not sure they would do it if they weren’t expecting a change,” Skidmore said.

The Peabody’s taxable receipts, including those for restaurant sales, totaled $15.9 million from January to November 2012.

The Peabody’s hard-earned Forbes Four Star rating, which the hotel has maintained for three consecutive years, will likely vanish, according to Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the LRCVB.

The Marriott’s resort properties and Ritz-Carlton brands are maintained to four-star standards, she said.

Core Marriott hotels, as the Little Rock location would be, typically aren’t, she said.

Marriott referred questions about changes at the Peabody to purchaser Fairwood Capital. Representatives from Fairwood did not respond to emails and calls for comment.



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