Extreme makeover: Capri

A $10-million makeover of the Capri Hotel and Convention Centre is underway, with the landmark hotel expected to be rebranded as a Sheraton this September.

Rick The Welder employees Josh Bryson and Codie Baker work in a loft unit on the 9th floor of the Capri Centre Hotel and Convention Centre on Tuesday. The one room units are being transformed into four separate room units.

Rick The Welder employees Josh Bryson and Codie Baker work in a loft unit on the 9th floor of the Capri Centre Hotel and Convention Centre on Tuesday. The one room units are being transformed into four separate room units.

A $10-million makeover of the Capri Hotel and Convention Centre is underway, with the landmark hotel expected to be rebranded as a Sheraton this September.

All of the Capri’s 217 guest rooms are being upgraded, with new carpet, furnishings, artwork and other improvements planned, said Gil Vallee, the hotel’s general manager. And 24 new rooms are being added, he said.

“We’ll be at 241 when we’re finished.”

Forty-five of the rooms will be finished as higher-end “club rooms” reserved for members of the preferred guest program operated by Sheraton’s parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

The lobby is also slated to undergo major change, said Vallee.

“You won’t even recognize the lobby when you walk into the hotel.”

Other work will include expansion and upgrading of the fitness area, nearly $1 million in improvements to life-safety equipment like smoke detectors and fire alarms, and changes to the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

“The hotel will remain open throughout the entire process,” said Vallee, describing how work will progress floor by floor, with construction areas blocked off.

The lobby will be affected from about the second week of July to the third week of August, said Vallee, although a portion of it will remain operational throughout.

A large number of rooms will always be available for guests, so Vallee doesn’t anticipate that business will be disrupted. He also pointed out that summer is traditionally a slower period.

Completion is scheduled for Sept. 4, with the Capri’s official conversion to the Sheraton banner expected by the middle of that month. However, the hotel should start accepting bookings through the Starwood system in late June of early July, said Vallee.

Temple Real Estate Investment Trust bought the Capri from the Pasutto family in 2008 for $40 million. The hotel dates back to 1961, when it opened as the Capri Motor Inn.

Various expansions have occurred since, including the addition of the hotel’s tower in 1981.

Located on the northwest corner of 32nd Street and Gaetz Avenue, the Capri has several restaurants and lounges, conference and trade show facilities, an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor whirlpool and exercise room, retail and other shops, and a free-standing liquor store.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com