WARWICK, Rhode Island—The NYLO Providence/Warwick is set to reopen Monday, more than a year after historic flooding dumped four feet of water in the boutique hotel’s first floor.
The arrival of guests will mark a significant achievement for the property as well as the broader NYLO Hotels LLC, which has experienced its own rollercoaster ride through a crippling economy, the bankruptcy of its chief financial partner, Lehman Brothers, and a corporate restructuring.
“It’s really an exciting time, and it’s … representing us moving forward,” Susan Shaw said of both the hotel and NYLO.
Shaw, who served as the hotel’s accounting manager during the flooding, has since been promoted to GM.
She views the restoration of the Providence/Warwick hotel as symbolic. The property, which has undergone 12 months of renovations, is “shiny and new” again.
“It’s the beginning of us moving forward past the hurdles we had had,” she said.
NYLO’s portfolio of boutique, urban-loft-style hotels comprises three properties: The NYLO Providence/Warwick; NYLO Plano at Legacy in Texas; and NYLO Dallas Las Colinas. The company recently “broke ground” on its first conversion property on the south side of Dallas.
Susan Shaw, GM
Finalizing the first floor
The damage caused by the flooding was “very, very extensive,” Shaw said.
“The heart of the hotel is the first floor … There’s 163 rooms that basically operate as individual units off of that first floor. … There’s s lot of infrastructure that needs to be taken care of before we can move forward,” she said.
Likewise, renovations were extensive, though Shaw declined to disclose a dollar amount. Costs were covered primarily by insurance, she added.
Though nothing’s changed aesthetically on the first floor—save for some different furniture on the deck area that overlooks the Pawtuxet River—the hotel is taking a slightly different approach to operations, Shaw said.
“We were obviously a fairly new property when the flood occurred. We had just started to infiltrate the market,” she said. The hotel opened 2 September 2008.
If the flood had any silver lining around its muddied waters, it’s that it allowed management to review what was working and what was not. The biggest change is how the hotel will approach weekend nights in its social lobby space. Whereas before it exuded a club-like atmosphere with DJs, now it will take on the more casual, sophisticated air of a jazz lounge.
“It’s definitely going to be a little more upscale, however reasonable priced for people to come after work and have drinks and cocktails,” Shaw said. “That’s something that we feel is needed in the market.”