The La Quinta Inn & Suites Madera opened Nov. 29 in the cityâ€™s downtown after undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation. Source: La Quinta Inn & Suites Madera
Written by David Castellon
To say this downtown Madera hotel needed some work is an understatement.
The five-story, 97-room hotel off of North G and West 4th streets â€” which started as the Madera Valley Inn in 1973, converting to a Quality Inn four decades later â€” was in bad shape when it was purchased by a Livermore-based investment group, 24 Hr Vegas, LLC, for nearly $4 million in May 2017.
â€œMost of all the fifth floor was abandoned, because the roof was leaky. It had a lot of plumbing issues. A lot of rooms were out of order. It had been ran on a really, really low budget for a long time. So it definitely needed a lot of work,â€ recounted Danny Brewer, hired in August by the investment group to be general manager of its newly acquired hotel.
But in many ways, it wouldnâ€™t be wrong to call this a new hotel, as right after the 2017 purchase it was shut down to undergo renovations â€” and they were a lot more than cosmetic.
â€œWe basically gutted everything inside the whole hotel, and we basically rebuilt it from the ground up,â€ outside and inside, at a cost of a little more than $7 million, Brewer said.
Thatâ€™s why after about a year-and-a half of work, the renovated hotel, now the La Quinta Inn & Suites Madera, looks a lot different â€” even from other hotels in the La Quinta chain.
Thatâ€™s because the renovations are following the â€œDel Solâ€ style, a prototype of one of the new looks that new, flagship La Quinta hotels are adopting, said Brewer.
Even the outside the building adopts this new look, forgoing the little towers with the La Quinta logo normally atop the hotels for the name and starburst design incorporated directly on the side of the buildingâ€™s new, updated faÃ§ade.
â€œRight now there are only maybe 60, 60-plus around the United States. Theyâ€™re building one in Clovis, which should be open by March,â€ but the nearest other La Quinta currently open with new Del Sol look is in the Bay Area city of Morgan Hill, he added.
â€œThey really wanted to offer something more modern, more unique â€” attract the millennial clientele with the bright new colors.
The La Quinta Inn & Suites Fresno River Park also underwent recent renovations, some similar to the Del Sol design, but otherwise using an alternate design scheme now also being use at some hotels in the chain.
â€œWhen you look at our rooms, itâ€™s not like the typical La Quinta you go into. So weâ€™ve got the bright colors; weâ€™ve got the lighted mirrors in the bathrooms; big 50-inch TVs in every room. We want to make sure when people are traveling, theyâ€™re in comfort, like they would be at home,â€ Brewer said.
The change also is apparent in the new lobby, moved from the center area of the hotelâ€™s bottom floor â€” where the new guest gym now is located â€” to the southwest corner.
Beyond the front desk, the large room looks more like a lounge, and is intended to be a gathering area for hotel guests and their guests. In fact, Brewer said, the owners are attempting to obtain a liquor license to sell drinks in the lobby and, if that happens, offer sales of snacks and light appetizers.
â€œThatâ€™s something La Quintas really, typically werenâ€™t doing,â€ said Brewer, who opened the renovated Madera hotel in December, with plans to put on a grand opening event on Jan. 31.
â€œOnce we get a liquor license, I want to do a wine reception [periodically]. I want to pour all local Madera wines, Madera micro brews,â€ for guests, he said.
â€œFrom an aesthetic prospective, itâ€™s a lot better. They did some things to make it pop out,â€ said Madera Countyâ€™s deputy Chief Administrative Officer over finance, Joel Bugay, whose office is less than a block from the renovated and rebranded hotel.
The reopening also has been beneficial for the county, as itâ€™s usually best to put up visiting consultants in nearby hotels, but those consultants usually prefer to stay in chains they know. While the La Quinta was being renovated, many consultants ended up booking hotel rooms in north Fresno.
â€œIt was an aging hotel that was in desperate need of upgrading,â€ particularly on the inside, added Debi Bray, president and CEO of the Madera Chamber of Commerce.
She said the changes enhance the neighborhood and likely will draw more guests to stay there, which should generate more business to the downtown area.
The renovations also include new technology that would allow guests to skip checking in at the front desk and instead check and get into their rooms without keys, instead using their mobile phones.
â€œItâ€™s something thatâ€™s going to be coming real, real soon,â€ said Brewer, adding that he didnâ€™t know how soon.
The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the La Quinta Inn & Suites Madera at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 31, 317 N. G St.
Food and drinks will be served, and tours of the hotel will be offered, as will door prizes.