Hilton to upgrade Fort Shelby hotel

27th Jun 2007

Hilton Hotels Corporation and MCP Development have announced that the Fort Shelby Hotel will again welcome travelers to downtown Detroit with a 204-room Doubletree Guest Suites hotel after completing an extensive $82 million transformation.The restoration project, located at the intersection of Lafayette Boulevard and First Street, also will feature 63 luxury apartments and a state-of-the-art conference center which will be under consideration for certification by the International Association of Conference Centers. This mixed-used development will contribute to an already burgeoning revitalization effort that continues to take place in downtown Detroit and will mark the return of the first Hilton Family full-service hotel to the district in more than 30 years and is anticipated to welcome guests by late 2008.

The Doubletree Guest Suites hotel, which will be managed by Hilton Hotels Corporation, is owned by MCP Development, LLC.

“We are delighted to announce that the Fort Shelby Hotel will be re-established to its former grandeur and will become part of the Hilton Family of Hotels through its fantastic Doubletree Guest Suites offering,” said Emmett S. Moten, Jr. of MCP Development, LLC. “The opening of our hotel and residences at the Fort Shelby Hotel next year will help us write a new chapter of Detroit history by encouraging people from throughout the state of Michigan and around the world to join us in celebrating this downtown renaissance in one of the Midwest’s most important cities.”

This newest hotel announcement continues to reinforce the dynamic development story behind the Doubletree brand. With more than 50 full-service hotel additions during the past three years, a goal of 200 open hotels in the brand’s collection by 2008 and new and domestic international hotel expansion opportunities continuing at a brisk pace, Doubletree continues to receive notice and praise from owners and developers throughout the hospitality industry.

“This most recently completed management agreement in downtown Detroit reinforces our pride in Doubletree being recognized by hotel owners and developers as a lucrative hotel brand for hoteliers across the Western Hemisphere and around the world,” said Dave Horton, senior vice president - brand management for Doubletree Hotels. “As a hotel brand that truly cares about the communities we serve and believes in the engagement between our team members and our guests to create a warm, welcoming and friendly hotel experience in more than 180 current locations, Doubletree is honored to be part of this upcoming downtown Detroit debut.”


The Pick-Fort Shelby Hotel was once one of Detroit’s most exquisite and prosperous properties. Located within walking distance of the Detroit Riverfront, as well as popular office buildings, restaurants and retail shops in Detroit’s central business district, the 90-year old hotel and its site represent an incredible historical significance in U.S. history. Recognized as a national historic landmark, the property originally was the site of an 18th century British fort captured by the Americans in 1796 under General Shelby. More than 200 years later the hotel, once considered one of the largest hotels in the country, was built and opened in two phases in 1917 and 1927.

In its prime during the early 20th century, the Fort Shelby Hotel offered patrons many new innovations for its time, including baths with running water and modern heating in each room. The opulent Empire Room and elegant Crystal Ballroom both served as a premier venue for Detroit society and world dignitaries and celebrities for decades. During the past 35 years, the overall site has been primarily vacant and neglected. Since the building’s last tenant, a bar, closed their doors in 1998, the rich character and luxury of the original Fort Shelby Hotel have sat dormant - just waiting to be re-born.

Plans call for an incredible restoration of the property along with incorporating stylish amenities and services through the Doubletree Guest Suites experience, which is known as the second largest, upscale, full-service all-suite hotel product. The hotel will become a true gathering place in downtown Detroit with more than 38,000 square feet of extensive event and conference space planned for groups up to 1,000 people. Guest rooms will feature scenic views of the Detroit skyline, a state-of-the-art fitness center retrofitted with the latest cardiovascular and strength-training equipment by Precor®, a whirlpool and a swimming pool. Also included in the plans are flat-screen televisions, high-speed internet access in guest rooms and public areas, a fine dining restaurant and concierge services.


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