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Clarion Hotel set to receive upgrades

August 14, 2004|by TAMELA BAKER

Guest rooms at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center Antietam Creek soon will be sporting new furnishings as part of an ongoing refurbishment program, according to the hotel's owner, Rhode Island-based Magna Hospitality Group L.C.

The hotel at 901 Dual Highway also has a new manager in Kent Grove, the former director of operations for Full Service Systems of Miami.

Grove said Friday that 45 of the hotel's guest rooms are "being completely gutted," and will be renovated with new wallpaper, carpet, furniture and fixtures. Another 55 rooms are getting new furniture. All the work should be completed by mid-December, he said.

Grove said the hotel's restaurant will reopen as Andrews Steak and Seafood House, featuring Phillips seafood. He said he hopes the restaurant will be open in early September.

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The hotel's four-story learning center has been upgraded to accommodate wireless high-speed Internet access, and a new heating and air conditioning system.

Other hotel improvements include fresh paint, new ceilings and signs, new locks - even new ice machines.

Grove said his goal is to re-establish the hotel "as a destination choice. That's why I'm here."

Late last year, the hotel had been operating at a two-year loss of nearly $900,000. The former owners, Hagerstown Hotel Associates LLC, of which Magna was part owner, had to file for bankruptcy.

"It's no secret that the hotel has faced a number of financial challenges during the past couple of years," Magna Chairman William F. Burruss said in a statement. "But the property is making a strong comeback thanks to the support of this wonderful community, the expert know-how and dedication of Clarion's employees and the infusion of new capital by a syndicated group of experienced hotel investors."

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