PEORIA, Ill.– After seven years of construction and a domino effect of delays, a long-awaited hotel opens for business in downtown Peoria.
After two different project managers, the Four Points Hotel by Sheraton finally opened its’ doors on Tuesday. Leaving everyone in the project excited for the future.
“It’s been a long-time coming, that’s for sure. I think the community-at-large is excited about it,” Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said.
Director of Development, Om Patel for Hawkeye Hotels, an Iowa-based agency told WMBD reporter, Austin Schick several hard years of work has paid off.
“Since then, we’ve had, many corporate members involved with the project to get it opened and keep the project moving,” Patel said.
The new hotel has 323 guest rooms. 288 normal guest rooms and 35 suites. A big need was filled for the city with over 20,000 square feet in meeting space.
“20,000 square feet in meeting space allows accommodating many large conventions as well,” Patel said.
“So putting several hundred new hotel rooms in cue for use from visiting folks or conventions and so on, means a lot more dollars, heads in beds equates to money for us,” Ardis said.
More people downtown brings a boost to existing local businesses.
“I don’t see a downside to it. Its going brings more business travelers during the weeks that’ll help the downtown restaurants and bars,” Ardis said.
State basketball tournaments, such as IHSA Basketball and other events, have chosen Peoria as a host city.
“Instant impact will be with March Madness here in a couple of months. We’re going to have ten thousand people a weekend,” Ardis said.
City councilman of the third district, Tim Riggenbach hopes this helps during the re-bidding process.
“It certainly can’t hurt having another 320 rooms within walking distance of the arena. I mean what an atmosphere for those kids participating in it,” Riggenbach said.
This new hotel adds to the experience according to the president of Enjoy Peoria, J.D. Dalfonso.
“When you talk about a state basketball tournament, it’s the experience that comes with it. With Four Points opening with the largest amount of hotel rooms in the area the amenities are great to have right downtown,” Dalfonso said.
Hawkeye Hotels realized the tourism value when renovating the hotel. The new pool is the largest south of Chicago and features a hot tub and splash pad.
“If we have sports teams or families staying over the weekend, they can definitely enjoy that,” Patel said.
In addition to the hotel, a new restaurant featuring craft beers and American food is open for business.
“Our team spent a lot of time on Craft 309. It’ll be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” Patel said.