DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A 25-story Detroit hotel that once was an upscale attraction is expected to reopen in April as a Crowne Plaza hotel.

The 371-room former Pontchartrain Hotel had been controlled by a court-appointed receiver since 2009 after it went into foreclosure. A Mexican developer bought the downtown building last year.

Built in 1965, the hotel near Cobo Center last operated as the Detroit Riverside Hotel.

The opening comes as Cobo Center undergoes a nearly $300 million renovation that will add 22,500 square feet of exhibition space and other amenities. Cobo is home to the North American International Auto Show each January.

The hotel also is expected to open around the same time as a Hyatt Place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

The two hotels will add about 500 rooms to the area’s lodging scene. Next year, they are expected to be joined by another downtown property: an Aloft Hotel, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, in the empty David Whitney building.

The openings follow increased Detroit-area hotel room reservations last year that represented the region’s highest occupancy rates since 2000, according to Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research, which monitors the lodging industry.

Crowne Plaza hotels are considered upscale, catering to business travelers and the meetings and conventions market. The chain operates hotels in 52 countries.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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