Heard on the Street: Will downtown hotel stay independent?

After a month as an independent, a downtown Rochester hotel is uncertain if it will remain that way.

The Holiday Inn Expresssigns recently came down off the 170-room hotel at 220 S. Broadway, reflecting its change to the Rochester City Centre Hotelat the end of December.

A month ago David Shoff, the hotel's general manager, said that a decision was in the works on whether the hotel would remain independent, take on a new brand name or return to the Holiday Inn family.

"We are considering three possible brand names, and we have an application that goes before committee on Feb. 10 for approval," he said in a brief update this week. "We should know within a couple of days and should then have a plan moving forward."

That plan will be created by the hotel's owner, Mike Bhatka, along with Shoff.


What spurred this change was the InterContinental Hotels Group's plan to re-launch the Holiday Inn brand with a more contemporary look.

However, the price to upgrade to meet the new brand requirements made Bhatka step back and go independent while he considered his options.

Shoff had previously predicted that guest numbers at the hotel would fall off after reservations made under the Holiday Inn name started to thin out.

Now he says the hotel has not seen the dramatic drop he anticipated.

"Occupancy did decline in January, but, honestly, not as bad as I thought it could be with us going independent," Shoff said this week.

Another unresolved issue is that the staff has not had a labor contract since the end of August.

Contract negotiations with the local union representation of UNITE Here Local 21got under way in the fall.

"We have not had another meeting on the union contract," Shoff said. "I haven't heard anything since the start of the year."


Biz buzz

Consider this tease a trailer for a coming attraction.

Florida-based Paragon Theaterstook ownership of Rochester's Chateau 14theater last week, after previous owner Midwest Theatresabruptly closed the doors Thursday afternoon.

Though still closed, Paragon is now working on an upgrade of the northeast Rochester theater's technology as well doing some remodeling. The plan is to raise the curtain on a refreshed Chateau in a few weeks.

It sounds like that new Chateau ownership will have an announcement coming yet this week about a significant change on the way for the theater.

This theater was originally built by Rochester developer Gus Chafouliasand was purchased by CineMagic in 2007. It is designed to reflect the historic Chateau Theater in downtown Rochester, which now houses a Barnes & Noblestore.

What To Read Next
Get Local