ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Efforts to bring a hotel to downtown Rockford gets close. Within four months visitors will begin to check into the Embassy Suites. 23 News got a firsthand look at the final stages of construction and what we can expect when it opens next spring.
“It was a little discouraging in the beginning but as time went on and here we are, in the final run, there's light at the end of the tunnel,” said lead superintendent for Gorman & Company Nick Panzica.
What was once an eyesore is now in the final stages of becoming a towering example of transformation. Twelve stories, 160 rooms, three restaurants and a convention center in downtown Rockford.
"Transformation has just been phenomenal. What I get a reward out of is just everybody that walks through going 'oh my god I can't believe what this looked like and what it looks like now’,” said Panzica.
After nearly two years construction is on track and nearly 85 percent complete. Panzica hopes crews will finish by the end of December.
“Once were completed with construction, management comes through and they'll put finishings through with beds, tables chairs, TVs, and then start hiring staff and training them.
“We’re hiring between 175 and 200 people. Maids, to waiters to cooks, to front desk people,” said President of Gorman & Company Gary Gorman.
Gorman says it's important to incorporate the city's history in the hotel's design. So each room features pieces of Rockford’s past.
“People love that interesting tie back to what the building used to be and ties it all to the history of the community,” said Gorman.
The Embassy Suites Hotel expects to open in April of 2020. A catalyst to Rockford’s future downtown redevelopment.
“I think that's going to be the initial start of other companies and businesses, restaurants, to start coming to Rockford and start seeing what can be done,” said Panzica.
Gorman & Company will host job fairs in the upcoming months to fill those positions. Gorman says the hotel has almost $4 million in events already booked.