116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - New owners of the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Cedar Rapids want to update the 41-year-old hotel and change up its attached restaurant.
HRDMM Hospitality Services purchased the Clarion, located at 525 33rd Ave. SW, and took over its operation March 1.
The Virginia-based company acquired the hotel for $4.65 million, Cedar Rapids assessor records show.
'We're here to bring it back and make it the top of the town,” said Hassan Hussein, managing director of HRDMM and the Clarion's general manager.
Renovations at the Clarion, Hussain said, will include a new look for the lobby, updates to the banquet and conference space to host more weddings and parties, and changes to its restaurant and bar to attract more outside customers.
'I asked people (around Cedar Rapids) for feedback. A lot of people just say it's rundown, it's old, it needs upgrading,” Hussein said. 'That's where we're starting. We're upgrading the hotel.”
Updates will come with new paint, new furniture and new floors. Some of the Clarion's 156 rooms were renovated two years ago, Hussain said, so the rest will be brought up to date as well.
Hussain said updating the Clarion's 'curb appeal” with new exterior paint, new signs and a repaved parking lot also is important.
'The curb appeal matters to me, it attracts customers. If someone is driving by, it can attract them,” Hussain said.
Renovations and updates are expected to take three to six months.
The Clarion is the first Iowa-based hotel HRDMM has run. While Hussain said HRDMM used to own hotels in Virginia, the Cedar Rapids hotels is the only venue it now operates.
'We pick up different properties, we fix them up, and once they are up to standard we do try to sell them,” he said. 'But this one it looks we'll be keeping for a long time.”
It's the latest ownership change for the Clarion, after previous owners Synergy Hotel Group filed for bankruptcy in 2014. The hotel was sold in 2015 during a sheriff's auction to Citizens Bank in Tennessee.
The six-story hotel opened on 33rd Avenue in 1976, assessor's records show. A Cedar Rapids plumber, Jack Zazza, and a business partner first opened it as a Sheraton Four Points Hotel.
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