CommRow to Become Whitney Peak Hotel
A partial web site is up
It appears CommRow's new name will be 'Whitney Peak Hotel.' I first heard the rumor then discovered the web site here by doing a little digging. Thoughts on the new name?
Another name that was tossed around but apparently not used was 'Altitude.'
The new name is interesting, I hope they base their new theming and decor to match the name.
According to the web site, they will be adding 'Executive Concierge Level accommodations; private lounge; upgraded amenities including flat-screen TVs, complimentary Continental Breakfast and evening hors d'oeuvres'. It also appears Cargo will be keeping its name, and the 'historic landmark hotel' will be fully renovated. Also look for a 'Coffee bar and full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.'
Mount Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet. It's located in California, by Bishop. The first known ascent to the peak was August 18, 1873.
Post your comments
Posted by: Sara Lee - 2/8/2013 11:19:34 AM
Well this should go a long ways towards absolutely nothing. Also, Whitney Peak is in Colorado ... the one in California is called Mount Whitney.
Posted by: DowntownMakeoverDude - 2/8/2013 11:21:39 AM
Very interesting Sara Lee, I had no idea there were two mountains in the U.S. associated with the name Whitney.
Posted by: Sara Lee - 2/8/2013 11:23:44 AM
The thing is, "Whitney Peak," is never used to refer to the one in California. Just like you would never call Mt. Rose, "Rose Peak." I'm just not sure where they're going with this name ... any ideas or insight?
Posted by: DowntownMakeoverDude - 2/8/2013 11:31:17 AM
I wish I had more insight. One would think they meant to refer to Mount Whitney purely because of its size. I discovered the new name because internal staff were emailing people using the new domain name, and I caught wind of it, did a WHOIS on the domain, and discovered it was owned by CommRow and subsequently discovered the new web site. RGJ has picked up the story and put it on the Reno Rebirth Blog, so now hopefully a press release will come out soon.
Posted by: wiley_n_reno - 2/8/2013 11:41:16 AM
hmmm, a Whitney Peak is in Antarctica too! The new name is better than 'Comm Row' which made one think of 'Skid Row'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitney_Peak
Posted by: DJ - 2/8/2013 12:58:13 PM
I like the reference to Mount Whitney, if that is indeed what they're referencing. The new name sounds classier, less pseudo-trendy like "CommRow". Honestly I just want them to finish fixing up the outside of the place. Maybe they'll get rid of that ugly stain where the Fitzgerald sign used to be and give the north and south sides of the building a nice coat of paint.
Posted by: Matt - 2/8/2013 1:39:43 PM
I concur Dj! Paint the exteriors! Which they are going to do... ;) The name is catchy, unique. I like it, better than CommRow.
Posted by: Sara Lee - 2/8/2013 3:27:20 PM
So what's the _business_ plan? In Downtown Reno I can rent a room at the Eldorado, Sienna, or Silver Legacy, for $29 most nights. The rooms are rented out at that rate which is considered a wash by the casinos, with their hope being that guests staying in the hotel will spend money on gambling, food, and entertainment. Please, won't someone help me understand how this property expects to even break even?
Posted by: john - 2/10/2013 12:34:09 AM
Sara lee, do us a favor and stay away form downtown Reno. Your negativity does nothing to help
Posted by: Sara Lee - 2/10/2013 8:35:09 AM
John, it was a serious question and in no way based in negativity. I spend more than enough time Downtown and have no reason to stop now. What I'm still trying to understand though is what Whitney Peak's business plan is going to be, outside of a new paint job and attaching a hotel to a failed property. Like Mulder, I want to believe.
Posted by: DowntownMakeoverDude - 2/10/2013 12:56:48 PM
Commenter Sara Lee raises legitimate questions and has been a long time commenter of DTM so be nice! There's a huge difference between questioning a business model and trashing downtown, and she is, rightfully so, questioning how Whitney Peak Hotel is planning to compete against the newly remodeled rooms of the Silver Legacy which the Silver Legacy offers at almost a loss to themselves in order to get people in the order and spending money on food, gambling etc. Does $30 a night even pay for the labor required to change and wash sheets, turn-down the room (sorry, industry term for making it guest-ready again), etc? The Silver Legacy offsets that from revenue from bars, restaurants, gaming, concerts etc.
Posted by: Ken - 2/11/2013 2:37:05 PM
I think the business model for this property will necessarily be different than the hotel/casinos. They will be operating a hotel for its own sake - so they are likely planning to make money the way hotels make money: keeping the meeting and banquet spaces booked and developing and sustaining a reputation for quality and service. The concert venue, and the climbing wall, and any restaurants and other attractions that they are able to develop in the surrounding buildings will create a destination address on that particular corner of downtown, will help establish the "close proximity to" part of their tourist marketing equation. I think of this similar to how a place like Plaza Resort Club's Plaza on the River stays in business - by operating a decent hotel that offers something you can't get at one of the hotel/casinos - and keeps people coming back year after year. All in all, it's a better model than what CommRow was trying to do. It's not guaranteed to work, but neither is it destined to fail. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Posted by: oldjohnny - 2/12/2013 7:16:45 PM
Sara brings up a valid point. Rooms are inexpensive downtown, and there are nice ones available cheap. If someone wanted to stay outside a casino, well, this new revamp may work for them. I do question how many people come to Reno looking for a non casino room, and looking to pay more for said room.
I have never, ever been a fan of this project, but was cautiously optomistic at one time that my initial prognosis of failure would be incorrect.
The thing might have had a chance if someone were actually managing it, sadly, extremely bad management from the get-go killed the Commrow.
Hopefully lessons were learned, and the next revamp to the Fitz will become successful. I still think it's gonna need a casino.
Posted by: Ken - 2/12/2013 11:18:55 PM
CommRow was not done well. Much has been said about its poor management. I personally never got bad service or had a bad time there, but when I was there I had a growing list of "notes", things that they definitely needed to change or fix to actually pull that off. A regular hotel's business model is a different animal entirely. If it is a well-run business with a reputation for quality and service, it should succeed. It's also worth noting that the current bunch working on this project is looking at opening up a casino on the block, as well as restaurants. This is a way less gimmicky business plan than what was tried there last. I will probably snap judge the place based on just whether they get the lobby right.
Posted by: Justin - 2/26/2013 2:34:49 PM
They would have been so much better off just going with "The Peak". It rolls of the tongue better IMO.
Posted by: twf2000 - 4/8/2013 1:26:27 PM
Seriously.. that's the name they landed on? Trying to stay optimistic about this property after so many false starts is getting difficult. Maybe they should just call it "Coming Soon" and save the money on the next rebranding.
Posted by: toscar - 5/19/2013 6:21:56 AM
This venture has become a convoluted mess.
Posted by: Tom - 5/19/2013 11:25:26 AM
Anyone know what the latest is on this project? Any activity? Opening date? Anything? Bueller?
Posted by: mountain man - 4/2/2014 8:38:23 PM
Interesting the place seemed cool at first then they started doing all these crazy changes. I totally agree management screwed up what could have been a cool place from the start. They never let people get used to it or feel comfortable. Just one crazy change after another. I will bet it will always be a total failure. Just like I will be surprised if they dont do more crazy changes when numbers dont look good after week two. Ohh well like I really care