Downtown hotel slated to open this week
By Jordyn Grzelewski
When a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel opens this week, it will end an era community leaders are more than happy to close.
The opening of the hotel in the historic Stambaugh Building marks the end of a 44-year period in which there were no hotels downtown. The opening is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, a DoubleTree by Hilton representative said.
City, county and business leaders expressed excitement about what the hotel will mean for the city.
“I think it’ll be a great impact for downtown. As mayor, now I have the option when people come to visit to direct them to our downtown,” said Mayor Jamael Tito Brown. “This will be a great new part for the resurgence of downtown.”
Brown said the city often hosts guests, many of whom drive back later that day because they don’t have anywhere to stay in the city.
“I experience that a lot,” he said. “When I was in Detroit about a month or so ago, I stayed in downtown Detroit. I met with the mayor and his staff. I would like to have that option here, for when other mayors come to visit my city.”
Members of the media have not yet had a tour of the completed facility, but its website describes “preserved decor like marble wainscoting and mahogany doors” leading to rooms with “complimentary WiFi, a 50-inch HDTV, mini-fridge, in-room safe, coffee maker, work desk and walk-in shower.”
The hotel also features “superior views of downtown,” two hotel restaurants, a coffee shop and a top-floor ballroom “accented by 13-foot ceilings, Palladian windows, and views from 12 stories up.”
Brown recently had the chance to tour the building and was impressed. “It is top of the line,” he said.
Officials noted the convenience the hotel will provide for visitors who come to town for business or downtown events such as conferences or entertainment.
“We get calls, for example, from people attending concerts at Covelli Centre asking if there is a hotel within walking distance. Up until now, we’ve had to tell them no,” said Linda Macala, executive director of the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s definitely going to add to everything we can offer, and enhance the downtown area.”
She said it also will benefit visitors who come to town for events at Youngstown State University, golf (a significant tourist draw in the area), and occasions such as family reunions and weddings.
Officials said the DoubleTree is a significant piece of the resurgence of downtown development that’s taken place in recent years.
“We’re really excited to see, not just a business going in, but that it is a hotel,” said Kimberly Calvert, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber vice president of marketing & events. “For us, it’s one more chapter in Youngstown’s revitalization story.”
Calvert said the hotel complements other downtown development projects, such as the riverfront amphitheater.
“It’s kind of completing the big picture of Youngstown,” she said.