With the changeover from the Peabody Hotel to the Marriott Hotel, new general manager Bill Fontes, says his company’s $16.5 million renovation will bring big changes to the landmark central Arkansas hotel.
Starting in the guest rooms, new flat-screen TVs will replace old tube-supported ones. Guests can expect increased bandwidth and even in-room coffeemakers, which were outlawed by the previous hotel management.
Other big changes include exterior and interior changes, such as signage, a new lobby, front-desk and ballrooms. Fontes also said that the Capriccio Grill, the Peabody’s main restaurant, will become the Pancetta Regional Kitchen + Wine Bar.
With an Italian theme, the restaurant and bar will boast a large wine selection, including regional and U.S. wines. But will the Marriott serve duck – as in the famous Peabody ducks?
“We absolutely are not,” said Fontes.
He says that there are challenges in the transition, such as remaining open for business while still serving guests and converting systems without a glitch. Fontes also said that he feels fortunate to have inherited a solid group of employees.
“The Peabody has some of the best trained staff,” he said. “Some of our corporate staff are here right now and they’re taking lessons away.”
You can watch Fontes full interview below.