Oct. 6, 2004 - Kelly Nestlen, assistant director of sales at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road, refers to the $7 million in improvements made to the resort since Hilton took over on Christmas Eve 2002 as the reinforcement of "elegance without intimidation."
"There's just a comfort level that's all built in," said Nestlen during a Sept. 30 reception for the media celebrating completion of the renovation work.
All 428 of the resort's rooms have been done with all new furniture, carpeting and drapes, the 30 meeting rooms have all been repainted and furnished with new light fixtures and chandeliers, carpets, new banquet chairs and the Sundance restaurant also was refurnished, repainted and stocked with new art works.
Improvements also have been made in the redesigned lobby area with a totally new Southwest color scheme and furniture that conveys a casual elegance designed to encourage visitors to sit down and chat a while and sample a cup of Starbucks in the restyled barista coffee lounge just off the bar area.
The first major project taken on by the resort was a $3 million redo of the pool area when what is now the entire center courtyard was bulldozed to the ground, pool decking was replaced and the restaurant area was completely redone, said General Manager Tim Booth.
Another $1.5 million was spent on the meeting rooms, including the two 12,000 square-foot ballrooms, lobby renovations and the Sundance restaurant.
"The rest of it was all kinds of sexy things like the roofs, parking lot, infrastructure, wiring and all the kinds of things necessary to operating a resort in 2004," Booth said.
Designed by the Hayes Design Group of Phoenix, the goal was to incorporate the design with the theme "Recapture a Relaxed Desert," Booth said. That is accomplished in the grandeur of the furniture, the size, scale, scope and comfort that gives you a warm, inviting but soft feel, he said, adding that the new color scheme "takes us from a two-color resort, beige and beige, to a wonderful desert pallette, including the oranges, yellows, purples and greens that are so vibrant in the desert Southwest."