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Face Lift, Additions Set for Anaheim Plaza Hotel

Times Staff Writer

One week after formally opening its doors, the Anaheim Plaza Resort Hotel has announced plans for a multimillion-dollar renovation that will add a flashy new entrance, two huge banquet rooms and a 10-story tower.

The face lift started Sept. 1, the same day that the former Hyatt Anaheim, across the street from Disneyland, was rechristened the Anaheim Plaza Resort Hotel.

Hotel owner Leo Freedman, who previously had leased the property to the Hyatt chain, will now operate it himself, said Ted Holmquist, the hotel’s vice president and general manager.

The Anaheim Plaza has begun a $1-million remodeling that will spruce up its restaurant, add a cocktail lounge and perk up the entrance, Holmquist said. Banquet facilities to seat 500 also will be added--giving the hotel three banquet rooms--and guest rooms will be remodeled.

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After that, “next year we hope to break ground on a 250-room tower,” Holmquist said. The tower is planned for the north side of the 10-acre hotel site and should be completed by March of 1990. That phase of the renovation is expected to cost roughly $22 million, Holmquist said.

With its expanded, updated facilities, the 25-year-old hotel is gearing up to compete for small conventions of 200 to 300 people, Freedman said. While the Anaheim Plaza still expects to attract tourists and vacationers, “we’re also two blocks from the (Anaheim) Convention Center,” Holmquist said. “With us, small conventions can have our full attention.”

The renaming leaves Hyatt with only one hotel in the county, the Hyatt Alicante in Garden Grove.

But Jay Maxwell, senior vice president with Hyatt Development Corp. in Irvine, said that the company still wants a major presence in Orange County.

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According to Maxwell, negotiations to acquire more lodges are in progress. “I think there will be four or five (Hyatt hotels) in Orange County within a reasonable length of time,” he said.

At Hyatt’s headquarters in Chicago, spokesperson Carrie Reckert said the company is looking at the Newporter Resort as a possible site “as well as several others throughout California.”


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