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Business picks up at Marriott Syracuse Downtown as hotel room renovations finish

Renovations of rooms at the former Hotel Syracuse are finishing up just as pandemic restrictions are easing.

The restoration of hotel rooms on every floor of the Marriott Syracuse Downtown is now complete, seven years after it reopened. Developer and hotel owner Ed Riley expects brisk business with fewer pandemic restrictions ahead.

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media
WRVO Public Media
Hotel developer Ed Riley.

"We had 261 rooms, we now have 315 in the hotel,” Riley said. “And actually, two weeks ago we sold more than 280 rooms, so we’ve already sold some of the rooms we’ve built."

The rooms on the second and third floors have been restored the same as most of the other rooms in the hotel. The highlight is the 11th floor, which boasts the new “Hotel Syracuse 1924 Suite,” made up of five suits and a common area, which can be booked all together or separately. Nineteen twenty-four pays homage to the year the hotel opened. Walls are dotted with pictures of famous guests and memorabilia; perhaps the most notable pictures of John Lennon, who celebrated his 31st birthday at the hotel. Riley said the hotel's history doesn't end there.

"I’m hopeful we get more people from the amphitheater, we get a lot of entertainers from the amp that stay,” Riley said. “We want to get pictures of them added to the walls. We don’t want to just see the old days. We have a lot of new things happening here."

Riley said it took longer than anticipated to finish the rooms because of pandemic-induced labor and supply shortages.

"All that impacted the final schedule in terms of getting it done,” he said. “I had wanted to get it done several months before this, but it was not in the cards.”

Riley said business is picking up in the restaurants, as well. He restored the hotel after years of decline, including ten years when it stood vacant.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.