Sheraton Duluth Undergoing $7 Million In Renovations

DULUTH, Minn. – The Sheraton Hotel in downtown Duluth is undergoing a multi-million dollar transformation.

It’s the first time the hotel is going through such a renovation since opening in 2007 that’ll strip down every piece of what the public sees, as FOX 21’s Dan Hanger reports.

The final phase of the $31 million Superior Street reconstruction project is well underway in front of the Sheraton — while some big changes are just beginning inside.

“It has served its purpose. A great investment was made when we built the property, because it’s really stood the test of time,” said Karen Pionk, general manager of the Sheraton.

But times have changed.

This historic looking, Ralph-Lauren inspired old-world feel will be no more by next summer.

“It’s a big project,” Pionk said.

A $7 million top-to bottom renovation is now underway — from hotel rooms, to eventually the hallways, lobby, bar and restaurant.

“It’s time, ya know, people travel different than they did 12 years ago. And so a lot of our designs will — and the function of our furniture and such — will really lend itself to our travelers today,” Pionk said.

Pionk and her team have begun stripping 25 guest rooms and the Club Lounge on the 6th floor to make way for a new design described as brighter and lighter with a modern-retro edge that brings the colors of the outside – inside.

“The blues that we would see in Lake Superior. The greens from the trees and foliage. The colors of the stone that are selected throughout the property,” Pionk said.

Pionk says the re-design reflects today’s traveler – from USB ports for electronics, to the removal of the traditional desk in guest rooms.

“Because most people travel with a laptop and really don’t require that space to spread out, if you will,” Pionk said.

And beyond the rooms, the lobby will be more flexible and social with movable furniture to create communal opportunities for the lone traveler.

“You might strike up conversation, but yet again, you can be alone together, because travel can be really lonely, especially when you are traveling by yourself,” Pionk said.

It’s a massive renovation for the Sheraton that could be the perfect timing as Essentia Health and St. Luke’s begin their combined billion-dollar expansions just up the street, with a 15-story luxury apartment building going up right next door next year and a brand new Superior Street soon to be complete right out the hotel’s front doors.

“You know, my saying is, we’re going to be the newest hotel on the newest block, so it’s going to be great,” Pionk said.

The hotel will remain open during the entire restoration project, which is expected to be completed by Grandma’s Marathon in June.

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