Massive changes for Capri

It’s been two years since Temple Real Estate Investment Trust bought the Capri Hotel and Convention Centre and announced plans to rebrand the Red Deer property as a Sheraton hotel under the Starwood Hotels and Resorts umbrella.

It’s been two years since Temple Real Estate Investment Trust bought the Capri Hotel and Convention Centre and announced plans to rebrand the Red Deer property as a Sheraton hotel under the Starwood Hotels and Resorts umbrella.

But the Capri name remains on the side of the landmark building.

That should change next spring, said hotel general manager Gil Vallee, when nearly $10 million in renovations are expected to wrap up and the new banner is unveiled.

“We got our building permits last week,” said Vallee, acknowledging that Starwood’s meticulous design and approval process pushed the timelines back.

“We’re looking to start construction in January and we’re looking at rebranding the hotel probably in May of 2011.”

Vallee explained that the renovations are a prerequisite to the hotel adopting the Sheraton name.

All of its 217 rooms will be upgraded, with 24 more added. The lobby will be renovated and the fitness area redeveloped and expanded.

“We’ll have a world class fitness facility when we’re done,” said Vallee.

A million dollars worth of life safety equipment like smoke detectors and fire alarms is also being added, he said.

As soon as construction begins, the hotel will be able to accept reservations through Starwood’s booking system for dates after the renovations have wrapped up.

“We really believe that we’re going to get a lot of folks who haven’t utilized our property before,” said Vallee of the benefit of tapping into that system and its points redemption program.

The hotel will retain its four-star rating, but will move to a higher level within that ranking, he added.

Temple paid $40 million for the Capri, which was owned by the Pasutto family. It originated as the Capri Motor Inn in 1961, with Al Pasutto buying it three years later.

A number of expansions occurred over the years, 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

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