While construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center continues, a new look is planned for the connecting Hilton Garden Inn.

A $3.5 million total renovation of the Hilton Garden Inn is slated for completion by next spring.

“Our initial franchise for the Hilton Garden Inn was 20 years, so we had about six years left, but we have decided, with consideration of the new convention center, that we have renewed that franchise early for another 20 years,” said Tim Dora, president of Dora Hotel Company.

Dora, along with Terre Haute businessman Greg Gibson, are partners in Terre Haute Hotel Partners LLC, which owns the hotel, as well as another downtown hotel, the Candlewood Suites. The Hilton Garden Inn opened in 2007 in downtown at the intersection of Wabash Avenue and Seventh Street.

“Now we are going to do what is called a product improvement plan and we will totally renovate the entire building for somewhere in the $3.5 million neighborhood,” Dora said.

That renovation of the hotel’s 72,801 square feet includes new furniture, new carpet and new wall hangings.

“It is everything,” Dora said. “It includes renovating all the public areas, all the guest rooms. We just wanted to have it in pristine condition when the convention center opens, so there is a brand new convention center attached to a brand new hotel,” Dora said.

He added, that “my partner, Greg Gibson, is a big advocate of it and wants to have first-class everything for the convention center,” Dora said.

Dora said the Hilton Garden Inn has a strong occupancy rate, as does the Candlewood Suites, located across the street, which underwent about a $2 million renovation in 2020.

“We are trying to do this renovation [of the Hilton Garden Inn] as soon as possible, subject to furniture delivery issues. We are trying to have it done by the spring of next year when the convention center opens,” Dora said.

Meanwhile, construction continues on a steel-framed covered connecting walkway between the convention center and the hotel. Construction of the convention center is ahead of schedule. The original completion date had been April 27, 2022, however, Garmong Construction Services has since adjusted its substantial completion date to March 1, 2022.

The $34.5 million convention center project has a guaranteed maximum construction price, after some previous change orders, of more than $26.95 million.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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