[Source: Emily Gersema, The Arizona Republic]
The city-owned Sheraton Downtown Phoenix Hotel is adding a pool bar and will expand its catering business.
At a meeting Friday, the Downtown Phoenix Hotel Corporation that oversees the hotel unanimously approved spending an estimated $225,000 to build the pool bar and another $125,000 to add a catering show room and obtain a liquor license so the hotel’s catering arm can serve liquor at off-site events.
The corporation is a non-profit group led by four city officials – David Krietor, John Chan, Ruth Osuna and Gary Verburg – and one non-city government member, Richard Snell, the former chairman of Pinnacle West Corp.
The hotel’s general manager, Leo Percopo, said the pool bar and catering additions would boost revenue.
Jerry Harper, an economic development program manager for Phoenix Convention Center & Venues, said money for the projects would come from the hotel’s project account that had been dedicated for its construction.
A financial summary shows the account had nearly $9 million as of December 2009, and it will be drawn down to $1.5 million by December this year after the city has finalized the paperwork and the certificates necessary for the formal close-out of the hotel’s construction.
Krietor said after close-out, the remainder of the project account can be shifted into other hotel funds for potential spending or savings.
The hotel opened in fall 2008, and the city paid for its construction with $350 million in revenue bonds. Bondholders are paid back with hotel revenues, so no tax dollars are spent on the deal.
The hotel operations are managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and its assets are managed by Warnick + Co.