For the past few years, the Hotel Pontchartrain in Detroit has stood shuttered and empty, a looming symbol of the city’s better days. But now, the Pontch looks like it is coming back to life, thanks to a Mexican developer.
The Detroit News reported this morning that the 25-story hotel was purchased by Gabriel Ruiz, a Mexican businessman, and that the hotel will become a Crowne Plaza once more.
Bill Bohde, a senior vice president of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the InterContinental Hotels Group, which runs the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts chain, informed him of the sale last week.
Bohde says he understands the group has an agreement in principle to make it part of the Crowne Plaza chain, and restore it as a 416-room property.
The hotel, nicknamed “the Pontch” by Detroiters, has one of the premium locations in all of downtown, across from the Cobo Convention Center. But it has been shut since 2009, when its air conditioning system failed. Continue reading