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USC AREA : Hilton Becomes Crowne Plaza

January 16, 1994|SANDRA HERNANDEZ

Betting on a new name and $1 million in remodeling, the owners of the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Downtown are hoping to attract more business travelers.

"We'd like to tap into that market now that the new convention center has opened so close by," said Albert Salah, general manager at the Holiday Inn at 3540 S. Figueroa St., which is across from USC and about a mile south of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"We're changing the image to a higher standard through our association with the Crowne Plaza."

Topping the list of changes will be remodeling of the hotel's lobby, ballroom and conference rooms, Salah said. The renovations are expected to be completed by next month.

The hotel switched names on Jan. 1 from the University Hilton Hotel. It will remain under the same management and ownership, Salah said.

The decision to switch franchises was in part because Pacific West Company, the owners of the property, wanted to tap into Holiday Inn's international reservation system, which includes more than 1,500 hotels worldwide.

There are 236 Hilton hotels worldwide, according to a Hilton spokesman.

"Really, the reason to switch was that Holiday Inn is larger than Hilton, and we feel we could get into the national and international market this way," Salah said.

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