But it's only forcing all the oldies but goodies to keep up with the competition. What's looming over many hotels is potentially their biggest threat yet. On August 16th the Hilton name will join the mix of hotels in Rockford.
Joe Santolino with the Hilton Garden Inn says, “We definitely see a need for the upscale market in Rockford."
The Hilton Garden Inn is grooming themselves to be a corporate hotel. With 135 rooms and the many corporate amenities the Hilton plans to be in competition with themselves. Joe says, “We will be the most expensive hotel in Rockford but we will provide the best service. We will be the premiere hotel in Rockford."
With the Hilton in town there's a potential that a guest war could break out. You see everyone is fighting for that traveler to stay at their hotel. Here at the Ramada there's a $1 million renovation project taking place along with a name change to the Radisson."
Mark Stefanic with First Rockford Group says, “Some of the new amenities the custom design sleep number bed. We are also improving many things outside like lighting, wallpaper."
114 rooms are getting a facelift at the Ramada. Work is expected to be complete by the end of September. Both the Ramada and the Clock Tower say the Hilton will expand the industry and competition is always healthy. These three hotels say they each come from a certain mold.
Mike Ginter, General Manager of the Clock Tower tells 23 News, “Truly becoming a water resort, a destination resort which certainly sets us apart from other brands in the market."
The Clock Tower is ahead of schedule on the Coco Key Water Resort. The $25 million water park will open on November 20th. On top of that, Clock Tower is spending $5 million to overhaul the inside and keep the product fresh.
Ginter says, “That'll be replacement of all bedding throughout the building replacement of most of the carpet, vinyl in the hallways. Renovation of ballroom space, changing carpet, updating equipment, complete renovation of the lobby."
What all the hotels have going for them is location. These three have set up right along I-90. Now they just have to stop the traffic flow to the Dells and make Rockford a travel destination. You can expect to see many events take place at the clock tower to hype up the Coco Key Water Park. In all Rockford hotels have invested close to $50 million in renovations.