Tourism is a booming industry here in the County—in fact, the industry generated nearly $1.7 billion last year, a substantial increase over 2011. To keep ahead of the curve, the mainstay Crowne Plaza White Plains-Downtown recently underwent a $15 million facelift. “With the high-end competitive environment in Westchester County, it is important for all of the hotels to remain relevant and modern,” says General Manager Scott De Savoye.
The renovation, completed this past spring, involved a near-complete gutting of the hotel. All 402 guestrooms were updated, including furniture, carpet, drapes, bathrooms, and bedding, which De Savoye points out as the most critical update. “At the end of the day, guests do not sleep in restaurants, meeting rooms, or the lobby,” he says. “A large emphasis of our renovation was spent where it matters most—the guestrooms.”
As for the other areas of the property, all 17,000 square feet of meeting space was also upgraded, as were the fitness center, lobby, and swanky restaurant-bar, Mix Cocktail Bar & Kitchen. All of these renovations, the hospitality brand hopes, will help its central-county foothold better contend in that lucrative tourism market. “We have competed with The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, from the day they opened,” De Savoye admits. “Certainly, a multi-million-dollar renovation allows us to compete more aggressively.”
Though he won’t say if the upgrade has boosted bookings or revenue thus far, the Crowne Plaza is forecasting 111,000 rooms sold for this year, amounting to $22.5 million in revenue. But, says De Savoye: “Until the hotel is running 100-
percent occupancy, we have room to improve.”