Expansions & Renovations

Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel Completes Multi-Million Dollar Renovation Led by General Manager Paige Lund

PHOENIX, AZ. October 25, 2017 - Considered one of downtown Phoenix's most iconic and historic properties, and located in the epicenter of the city's vibrant downtown district, The Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel has recently completed a multi-million dollar makeover according to General Manager Paige Lund.

The $13 million renovation, which commenced in June of 2016, included modernizing the exterior of the building and relocating the hotel entrance and valet; a complete redesign of the hotel lobby; the addition of its new signature restaurant Dust Cutter and the largest Starbucks in the downtown district, both of which open up onto the historic, and now pedestrian-friendly Adams Street. According to Ms. Lund, one of the key design components of the renovation included the completion of the Adams Street Project, a collaboration between PHXHotel, LLC, owner of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel; Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm responsible for the exterior renovations; Marriott International, who manages the hotel, and the City of Phoenix.

"The renovation and refurbishment of this historic property was a labor of love on many levels and a collaborative team effort by everyone involved," said Ms. Lund. "We are all invested in enhancing downtown Phoenix as a destination, for both group guests and transient guests, keeping it vibrant and showcasing all it has to offer. We're dually fortunate to have an owner who is equally committed to this goal and continues to add amenities and upgrades that the locals and hotel guests will enjoy."


As a result of a 2013 study completed by Gensler, and approved by the City of Phoenix (at no expense to taxpayers), the overall exterior plan was to transform Adams Street into an engaging, pedestrian friendly experience by enhancing the streetscape, shade, lighting and signage, which would allow provisions for new food and beverage venues and act as a hub for special events. Therefore, all of the asphalt on Adams Street between Central Avenue and First Street was replaced with brick pavers, while trees and greenery in bioswale planters were added to line the street, giving it an inviting, urban feel. The environmentally-friendly planters capture rainwater runoff, reduce water flow into the storm drain system and help recharge the groundwater.

Tapping into the Renaissance Hotels' brand promise of discovery and uniting the brand's common core values of intriguing, indigenous and independent, both the interior and exterior design features were all choreographed in synchronicity to evoke visceral emotions and create a lasting experience for hotel guests and locals.

Inspired by the iconic design of the hotel tower's precast and curved concrete windows which block up to 70% of the sun's heat, Gensler added new aluminum fins to cover the base of the tower, continuing the themes of shadow, light and striking repetitive patterns. According to Gensler, this new exterior screen complements the emblematic pattern created by the windows, allowing the tower to take center stage while creating a more contemporary, Midcentury feel while enhancing the experience at street level. Additionally, and easily viewed from the Phoenix Convention Center, a large, color-changing LED glass feature acts as a beacon, attracting downtown residents, locals and tourists to the Renaissance.

Further embracing the Renaissance brand of discovery and locality, Gensler created an innovative and interactive light experience now known as the Ghost Letters, that is only visible at night on the East side of the hotel. Using a utilitarian reflective material that is hidden during the day, observers using flash photography or a flashlight, will see the letters P-H-X revealed.


With the relocation of the hotel's entry from Adams Street to First Street, a new lobby and porte cochere were added, and the existing lobby was remodeled with a visual "WOW" factor based on the interior design concept, "Rooted Rising" that represents the mythological bird, The Phoenix, rising from the ashes.

The original Hotel Adams, which was built in 1896, burned down in 1910 and was rebuilt a year later. In 1973, the hotel was eventually torn down again and the new Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel was built in 1975. Hence, this newest renovation represents the hotel's third rising from the ashes to begin anew.

The new lobby interior combines modern, yet warm natural materials paying homage to the textural experiences of the Sonoran Desert.

Reflecting upon Phoenix's western roots in both design and flavor, Dust Cutter, the hotel's modern urban saloon, creates an authentic local experience and is the center showpiece of the new lobby. Dust Cutter derives its name from the ranch hands and cowboys whom, after a long day in the saddle riding on the range, would saunter into a saloon needing something to refresh their thirst and cut the dust.

Featuring three, oversized garage doors that open onto the newly-paved Adams Street to welcome locals and hotel guests alike, Dust Cutter's open floor plan and centerpiece bar, creates an interactive intersection of community, culinary and contemporary cowboy. A 25-foot long streamlined bed of local river rock and large custom iron logs, creates a modern campfire that is open to the exterior and interior. A custom 15 foot "Post and Perch" community table made from a live edge Redwood tree, includes both bar stools and an iron foot rail for guests to post or perch. Over-scaled railroad beams suspended with frayed rope support a six-foot pair of spurs from the 60's, while vintage cowboy accessories and a Cabinet of Cocktail Curiosities highlight the decor.

For further information on the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, visit www.renhotelphx.com or call 602-333-0000.

About Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel

Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix and within walking distance of some of the city's most popular sites and attractions, the iconic Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel features 518 guest rooms including 73 suites, 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space, two restaurants including its new signature restaurant Dust Cutter, an on-site Starbucks, fitness center, rooftop pool and expansive, newly renovated lobby and hotel entrance. The landmark property, situated on the corner of 1st Street and Adams, is just two blocks from the Phoenix Convention Center, easy access to the Phoenix transit light rail system and four miles from Sky Harbor International Airport. Visit us online, The Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel is located at 100 N. 1st Street in Phoenix.

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.