Behind-the-scenes look at renovation of downtown hotel

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Tens of millions of dollars are being spent to renovate a centerpiece of downtown Toledo, and the big reveal is right around the corner.
The Marriott Renaissance Toledo Hotel is just months away from opening its doors.

It was originally the Hotel Sofitel when it opened in the mid 1980's.
It has since had a number of different owners. The First Hospitality Group of Chicago is investing more than $25 million to bring the space back to its former glory.

Haley Gronemeier is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Renaissance Toledo,"We are reconstructing the entire hotel from top to bottom. It has very good bones. We are just putting our stamp on it."
And that stamp is starting to take shape, "Six to nine months ago we were walking through a big, empty space. Now we're seeing walls go up and the framing go up. Wallpaper, paint and carpeting and things like that are all going in . All the pretty things are coming to life."

The inside of the hotel is inspired by all things Toledo. There will be references to Jeep, the glass industry and M*A*S*H. The hit TV show will have a special space dedicated to it, "Renaissance is an upscale brand within the Marriott portfolio. There are 160 of them around the world, and each and every one of them is different."

Gronemeier says there will be 241 guest rooms,15,000 square feet of meeting space and the biggest ballroom in Toledo. There will also be two restaurants. One on the upper level with a roof top dining experience, "The top floor was formerly corporate suites. They were 2,3,4 bedroom apartment style suites. We've gutted the entire floor. We've blown out the walls and the rooms. There will be open air dining in the corner of the building."

The restaurant that was originally on the lower level is being moved to the lobby space, and it will have a special feature, "There will be an open concept kitchen. It will have tables inside you can reserve to do an elevated culinary experience, like chefs tasting demos. It is something completely different Toledo hasn't seen before "

So with all the other hotels leaving this space, why do the new owners expect it to be successful now? "The whole landscape of downtown is changing. ProMedica and other companies are coming in and bringing so many jobs to the area. We know the time is right."

The hotel will open in mid-May. Rooms will start around $189 a night depending on the day of the week and the time of year. You can already book your reservation.

We've posted a link to the Renaissance Toledo Facebook page.