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Hotel Syracuse: renamed, rebranded, but still historic

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News file photo

It was another step forward in the restoration of the historic Hotel Syracuse Thursday with the renaming of the iconic hotel.


It’s a transition from a name that’s meant memories for over 90 years in Syracuse, to a name travelers across the world recognize. 

"The Hotel Syracuse moniker, brand, is going to retire," declared hotel owner Ed Riley. "The new name of this hotel, and the new partnership we will have, will be the Marriott Downtown Syracuse.”

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Riley announced the new name in the hotel’s lobby, amid the dust and debris of a $57 million renovation, that’s removed years of remodeling down to the iconic hotel’s 1924 bones. He says Marriott brings more than a name.

"It’s also having a reservation system, and a support system of Marriott that’s going to ensure that this project and this property is sustainable for generations to come.”

This will be a full-service Marriott, which means a full-service restaurant, room services and meeting space. That last piece is key, says Riley.

"We have 43,000 square foot of event space to sell into. And that’s all part of Marriott’s strength, is to get group sales and to get business here, and to support the convention center business. Because at the end of the day, that’s a big reason we’re here, is our relationship with the county and the convention center,” said Riley.

Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The history of the hotel will still be everywhere, with restored murals and artwork, and a museum displaying some of the vintage items workers are still finding hidden in the corners of the hotel.  

And while the Marriott flags will fly over the entryway when the hotel opens its doors again next spring, Riley isn’t sure if he wants to see that one Hotel Syracuse sign at the top point of the building come down.

“It is historic, we’re going to have enough identification that it’s the Marriott Downtown Syracuse. Maybe that’s a tip of the hat that the old girl was here for a very long time.”

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.