by Michael C. Lowe | October 01, 2014
Why here?
Several major hotel projects in the Show Me State wrapped up recently, with more on the horizon. Among properties touting fresh upgrades are the Sheraton and Westin Crown Center complex (above) in Kansas City, and the Magnolia Hotel in St. Louis, originally built in 1924.

Spotlight: St. Louis 
The former Mayfair Hotel was revamped and reopened in August as the 182-room Magnolia Hotel. With more than 8,000 square feet of event space, the property dates from 1924 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch finished an upgrade in June that refreshed its 195 guest rooms, public spaces and 5,000 square feet of function space.

Growth Spurt 
The River City Casino & Hotel in South St. Louis County finished an $82 million expansion in September 2013 that added a 200-room hotel and a 14,000-square-foot events center.

New Face in Town
Ronnie Burt, named Visit KC's new president and CEO in May, previously served as vice president of sales and services for Destination DC. He has more than 23 years of industry experience.

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Local Update

 The Sheraton and Westin Kansas City Hotels at Crown Center completed a $22 million renovation last September. The two-hotel complex, which has a total of 1,454 guest rooms and 150,000 square feet of event space, upgraded its meeting rooms and lobbies. In addition, the Sheraton enhanced its 730 guest rooms, and the Westin added a 260-square-foot room for groups of four to six called Tangent, with state-of-the-art technology and floor-to-ceiling white boards.

 Marriott's AC Hotels will open its second U.S. location in Kansas City this November. The 123-room AC Hotel Kansas City Westport, which will cater to the Millennial-minded traveler, will offer mobile check-in,

USB charging stations and a fitness center. Meeting space at the hotel will total 941 square feet across three rooms.

 A $46 million dual-branded property will open in the city's Crossroads Arts District next fall. The 10-story project will include a 153-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 104-room Residence Inn. Features will include a pool, a fitness center and meeting space.

 The 107-room 816 Hotel in Westport opened this past May, following a renovation and rebranding of the former Holiday Inn Express. Complimentary amenities for guests include shuttle service within a four-mile radius, breakfast, nightly cocktails, Wi-Fi and access to a nearby Gold's Gym.

 The Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza opened last November in the Country Club Plaza District. The property has 132 guest rooms, a lounge and more than 5,700 square feet of meeting space spread among six rooms. The hotel's rooftop restaurant also can be rented out for events.

 All aboard: The KC Downtown Streetcar is scheduled to commence service in summer 2015 and transport passengers along a two-mile line connecting the River Market to Crown Center and Union Station. The ride will be free to the public.

 21c Museum Hotels has announced plans to redevelop the Savoy Hotel and Grill, a 125-year-old landmark in the city's downtown. At press time, the project was pending federal and state tax credits and private financing.