The $70 Million Historic Restoration of Upstate NY's Marriott Syracuse Downtown Nears Completion

. February 09, 2016

SYRACUSE, N.Y. February. 9, 2016 - The Marriott Syracuse Downtown - formerly the Hotel Syracuse - is nearing the final stages of its historic $70 million restoration. It was the gem and cultural center of downtown Syracuse when it opened in 1924. Over the last 20 years, the hotel fell into disrepair until it was purchased in 2014 by Ed Riley, hotel developer and leader of the project, with the assistance of the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency. In 2015, Riley entered into a licensing agreement with Marriott International and selected Crescent Hotels & Resorts, a nationally renowned operator to be the manager, thus changing the name from Hotel Syracuse to the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.

Riley and his family have lived in Syracuse and the surrounding suburbs for generations, and he is passionate about seeing the hotel restored to its former splendor.

"This hotel is a huge part of the city's history, but it was in such bad shape," said Riley. "Not too many people would take on this project, but I had to help rescue it."

Uncovering a Historic Past In its heyday, the Hotel Syracuse was a hot spot for celebrities, politicians and important public figures. Some of the high-profile guests that spent time at the hotel included President John F. Kennedy, President Eisenhower, Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Charles Lindbergh and John Lennon.

As the hotel restoration nears its completion, Riley and his team have uncovered hidden gems, such as an iconic barbershop, covered-over windows and balconies, and the original art-deco terrazzo floors of the Rainbow Lounge, which were thought lost when the once-popular cocktail bar - known for refusing to serve "unescorted women" until the late 1960s - became a sports bar in the 1990s.

Creating a Spirited Future When the restoration is completed, the property will have 261 guest rooms and 18 suites, three ballrooms, a conference center, a full-service restaurant, a sports bar, steak house, and a coffee shop.

Terrazzo floors and 20-foot columns adorn the grand lobby along with murals on the ceilings and behind the front desk and restored original 1924 chandeliers. The rooms will have been renovated and updated but the original servidors will remain on the guestroom doorways.

Guests can book events at the completely modernized Imperial ballroom (now called the Finger Lakes Ballroom), the Persian Terrace, Grand Ballroom, and reserve the eight meeting rooms in the conference center built to meet International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) accreditation guidelines. The hotel restoration team also set aside a community meeting room for use by local non-profits. The hotel is taking long-term reservations for events occurring as early as June of 2016.

The IACC accreditation is one of the reasons that the Marriott Syracuse Downtown was chosen as the official hotel for Onondaga County Convention Center, also known as The Oncenter. Meetings and events will be staffed by meeting specialists and supported by state-of-the-art services ranging from high-speed wireless Internet to built-in video systems for presentations and videoconferences, ergonomically outfitted conference rooms, and carefully calibrated acoustics and lighting. Overall, the Marriott Syracuse Downtown will offer 43,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and dedicated food and beverage service.

For more information or to inquire about reservations, please visit or call(315) 474-2424.

About the Marriott Syracuse Downtown

The Marriott Syracuse Downtown (formerly Hotel Syracuse) is a historic hotel originally opened in 1924, located at 100 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York. The hotel closed in 2004, and now the Hotel Syracuse Restoration Company is renovating the property to integrate the landmark's historical components with modern amenities - providing a unique, upscale experience for business and leisure travelers as well as a new local venue for corporate meetings, weddings and social events including a community meeting room for use by local non-profits. The hotel is also the official headquarters hotel for the Onondaga County Convention Center. The property will have 261 guest rooms, 43,000 square feet of meeting, wedding, and event space including a completely modernized Finger Lakes ballroom, two historic ballrooms, five distinctive in-house restaurants and bars, and eight meeting spaces designed to adhere to IACC's strict requirements. The Hotel Syracuse restoration team is dedicated to preserving the memories of the City of Syracuse's past while creating a vision for the future. For more information, please visit

About Crescent Hotels & Resorts

Crescent Hotels & Resorts is a nationally recognized, top-3 operator of premiere hotels and resorts. Crescent currently operates over 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Canada. Crescent is an award winning Marriott operator, having been awarded Marriott's most prestigious award, the Partnership Circle Award and is one of the few elite management companies approved to operate upper-upscale and luxury hotels under the brand families of Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt and IHG. Crescent also operates a collection of legendary independent hotels and resorts. Crescent's clients are made up of hotel REITs, private equity firms and major developers. For more information, please visit

Beth Strautz
for the Marriott Syracuse Downtown
(773) 895-5387

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