From the 1970s through the millennium, the Sheraton (later re-branded Holiday Inn) and its attached conference center in Normal, IL hosted hundreds of weddings and events, and thousands of visitors. When Bloomington and Normal redeveloped their uptown and university areas in the early 2000s, tourism shifted from the Holiday Inn’s northern location to attractions in the center of the city. Normal’s new uptown draw, an aging Holiday Inn, and bad management ultimately led to the hotel’s demise.
Over the next several years, developers attempted to purchase the hotel in foreclosure and reopen the facility, however, those efforts failed. While the project languished over the years, vandals found the hotel an enticing target. A police report said furniture had been used as bike ramps and televisions were dropped several stories to the atrium floor. Vandalism included spray painted hallways, broken doors and windows, and bullet holes. Golf balls inside guest rooms and broken windows indicated the property had become a makeshift driving range.
When Swift Hospitality Group purchased the property, the original construction design estimate to renovate the property came to more than $11 million. SHG challenged Consolidated to pare the budget down to $8.5 million. The team brought the architectural plans in-house and made modifications creating efficiencies in the kitchen, restaurant and bar areas. They identified ways to work with current guest room layouts, rather than moving doors, fixtures and plumbing. They also found ways to value engineer materials and finishes.
This project earned a Projects of Distinction Gold Award from Associated Builders and Contractors.