RGJ confirmed what my sources said here, that the Siena is becoming a Renaissance Hotel. Urgo Hotels will be managing it. This brand coming to Reno is a big thing.

It's not just any Marriott. It's a standard that comes with a brand well-known in the high-end hotel chain market. That might sound like a cheesy company slogan or tagline, but it's true. I've stayed in one. It's high-end enough that Marriott itself likes to distance its own name from the Renaissance brand it owns. Tell me how many times on this web site you see the word 'Marriott' except for at the bottom where there's a Marriott Rewards link. For those not familiar with the Renaissance Hotel brand, the best way is to show you photos:

Renaissance Hotel Pool, St. Pancras

Renaissance Hotel Lobby, St. Pancras

Hotel Renaissance Lobby, Denver

Renaissance Hotel, Barcelona Spain

Hotel Renaissance Lobby, Caracas

Beginning to understand the magnitude of what this could mean for downtown? There are people, tourists and business travelers who specifically seek out a Renaissance Hotel to use their Marriott rewards.

This is exciting, because there's no way Marriott would have agreed to use this brand at the Siena's location, without having the confidence that whatever the Siena becomes would live up to the same high standards as other Renaissance Hotels. I guess what I'm saying, is that just because this Renaissance Hotel is in Reno doesn't mean it will somehow be less of a Renaissance Hotel. That will probably be the first thing that comes out of the C.A.V.E.s mouths.

When you see photos of other Renaissance Hotels, it's easy to see why nothing less than a full remodel would be appropriate for this brand. It can't look like a Hotel-Casino anymore, it needs to look like a hotel. I dig the most recent remodel of the Siena's lobby/registration desk, but even that wouldn't hold up to the quality of other Renaissance Hotels.

The possibilities for a riverfront property are endless, and I hope Marriott/Leal/Urgo take it to the extreme and leave nothing left of the Siena for us to recognize.

Think about it...this is the THIRD non-gaming hotel project for downtown in recent times, the others being the Courtyard Marriott by the ballpark, and the successful Whitney Peak Hotel, who are quietly remodeling and opening up more rooms because of demand, and will soon build a canopy over the Commercial Row sidewalk.