The new owner of a landmark Birmingham hotel are to invest s6.5 million after the venue was bought out of administration.
The Hyatt Regency Birmingham has been acquired by the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which has been running it on a management contract since the hotel opened in 1990, for s27 million, after its freehold owner collapsed this year.
Tim Flodin, who became general manager of the hotel four years ago, said there would be a major investment in the restaurant, meeting areas and rooms on the back of the deal. The sale of the four-star hotel, organised by administrators Ernst and Young, came after Hyatt Regency Birmingham, was placed into administration in June.
Mr Flodin said: In the restaurant were looking at local flavour, getting back to basics and local tastes.
People you speak to say if you were in Birmingham ten years ago you wouldn't recognise it from what it is today. Ten years from now people will be saying the same.
The conference trade is a big chunk of our market. The visitor numbers continue to grow, I think its ten per cent since 2006.
The market is tough, like it is in all business. The environment in which were operating is challenging and we have to continue to be relevant. Some will say the Hyatt is too expensive. The value that customers get far outweighs any price points theyre going to pay.
The 319-room hotel, which employs 200 staff, is in a prime location on the corner of Broad Street and Bridge Street and is linked by a bridge to the International Convention Centre, with users including delegates at the recent Conservative Party Conference.
That link has been a help in attracting major events to the city, as its security helped to land the G8 Summit in 1998 and the 2000 NATO Meeting of Defence Ministers.
Mr Flodin said the Hyatt was investing the money so it stands out in the market.
The hotel, which has been a feature of Broad Street since 1990 when it was specifically constructed to have close ties to the International Convention Centre, was being marketed at around s35 million by Jones Lang LaSalle.
It was originally built in a public-private sector partnership with Birmingham City Council, which made a s5 million profit on its sale in 2002. Mr Flodin, from Los Angeles, has been working for Hyatt for 28 years and said the latest investment was evidence of its faith in the city.
Hyatt has reaffirmed its commitment to the city and our loyal customers, he said.
It says a lot for the city to be operating the hotel and to be owning it.
This is one of those great opportunities for us and Business Birmingham to really get out and shout about what we have and what we are all about.
* An earlier version of this report stated that the hotel had been owned by the Bhatia family. We have been informed that the hotel was purchased by Asif Bhatia and that his mother Mrs Gulsham Bhatia has never been owner of the hotel and was not involved in any insolvency event. We are happy to make this clear and apologise for any misleading impression our report may have given.