The Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel has begun a $45 million renovation of its guest rooms, lobby, public spaces and restaurant, along with new signage on the facade with updated branding.
“By this time next year, we will be a completely transformed hotel and are eager to showcase what we will have,” said Courtney Towson, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.
The renovation is the latest example of Fort Worth’s thriving hotel and hospitality industry, with several high-end properties under construction across downtown and the Cultural District.
The 12-story Sheraton was built in 1974 and opened as a Hilton Inn. The property at 1701 Commerce St. was later a Ramada Plaza Hotel and the Fort Worth Plaza Hotel. It underwent renovations in 2006.
This latest renovation began in August. The Sheraton, a brand of Marriott International, is renovating one of its two towers at a time. A full makeover of the public spaces will begin in early 2023 and conclude by the fall. The work on nearly 25,000 square feet of meeting space will last from April to June, Towson said.
Construction is expected to be complete by October.
“This is another great example of the momentum that the south end of downtown has,” said Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth Inc.
Just north of the Sheraton, the expansion of the Fort Worth Convention Center will add a 1,000-room hotel with construction starting in spring. Meanwhile, a $217 million expansion of the nearby Omni Fort Worth Hotel will add 400 rooms and a second tower.
“With the expansion of the convention center and the announcement by the Omni, the Sheraton is repositioning itself to be a much more potent competitor,” Taft said.
Competition between hotel players is a good thing for the success of the convention center and downtown as a whole, he added.
“The more competitive the hotels are with each other at the higher level, the more conventions we will be able to attract to Fort Worth,” Taft said. “The Sheraton is repositioning itself not only with regard to the quality of its rooms but how it addresses the street and how it presents itself in downtown.”
Part of the Sheraton’s upgrade involves reducing the number of rooms to allow for some to be larger, including 37 suites. The remodel will reduce overall capacity from 429 rooms to 403, some with extended bathrooms.
The upgraded lobby will include more open space with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for more natural light. A new signature restaurant, West + Stone, will be a “high-concept eatery” that features breakfast, lunch and dinner with a signature steak.
“(West + Stone) will be very in line with Texas with a little bit of flare,” Towson said.
Three new presidential suites will be more than 1,000 square feet, including a new bridal suite called the Trinity with a large parlor and two bedrooms.
The existing porte-cochère and entryway will be redesigned with landscaping. Details of those plans aren’t final, Towson said.
Sheraton Hotels is a brand of Marriott International with nearly 450 hotels across 6 continents and 70 countries. As Marriott’s most global brand, with nearly 450 hotels in 70 countries, the Sheraton is getting new branding. The modernized logo will go on the Fort Worth towers, Towson said.
The project, initially slated for 2020, was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just six months ago, construction was expected to cost $40 million. That price has now increased due to inflation and rising costs of labor and design.
Towson said nightly room rates won’t go live until the project is complete next October, but rates will be competitive with other high-end downtown Fort Worth hotels, including the Omni and The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel, also owned by Marriott.