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HartfordTycoon

Sheraton at Bradley International in for multi-million dollar Upgrade

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The airport hotel faces increased competition from a larger number of hotels in the area immediately surrounding the airport. Occupancy at the hotel generally is in the 70 percent range overall, said Simon Konover, head of Konover Hotel Corp., a number that's considered to be on par with better-performing hotels in the Hartford area.

Konover, a longtime figure in local development, said the hotel needed to keep pace with the latest amenities and the development of the airport overall.

The Wolmans and Konovers have known each other for 20 years but have not previously worked on projects jointly.

"We felt we could best do this together," Konover said.

Details of the renovation plan are still being worked out, said Mark Wolman, who oversees construction and development at Waterford. In addition to guest rooms, renovations will update the concrete-block exterior and redesign the lobby, he said.

According to Starwood, lobbies of renovated hotels will include free Wi-Fi and computer stations with access to the Web. This will allow guests to search the Web, familiarize themselves with local attractions and print up boarding passes.

"We're committed to being a prototype of this new initiative," Mark Wolman said.

Hoyt H. Harper, senior vice president of brand management at Starwood, said renovations are essential for Sheratons at high-profile locations, such as airports, because they create one of the first impressions for travelers as they depart from their planes.

"We are raising the bar for quality and consistency at Sheratons throughout North America and the world," Harper said.

Len Wolman said Waterford was attracted to the project because the airport is growing, having added its first regularly scheduled international flight to Amsterdam last year. Although the economic slowdown could mean an erosion in both business and pleasure travel in the near future, he sees strong long-term trends, including the strong likelihood of more international flights in the future.

This is a great announcement in line with the other projects currently underway at the airport. Hartford just may have a great airport one day! I will love it when visitors can finally stop complaining about Bradley.

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This is a great announcement in line with the other projects currently underway at the airport. Hartford just may have a great airport one day! I will love it when visitors can finally stop complaining about Bradley.

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Bradley is awful, Boise has a better terminal building. There are no services outside the gate area. The entire place is disjointed and dysfunctional. The deal given to the parking lot builder and operator borders on the criminal. Even the gates are mis-priced. The DOT should stick to what it does best, incompetent road building.

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