Hilton Akron/Fairlawn makes history this year as it becomes the only Hilton franchise in the world to reach 40 years in business under the same continuous ownership. That is over the course of a 90-year history for the Hilton family of hotels.
What brings about such accomplishment?
Owner Rennick Andreoli spent restless nights contemplating the continued investment necessary to keep an enterprise evolving.
“We’re still evolving,” Andreoli said over coffee at Beau’s Grille restaurant, located within the hotel.
He pointed toward the new construction you may have noticed if you drive by his property at 3180
W. Market St. The recently opened Terrace at Beau’s is an elegant terrace raised above street level that offers patrons a sense of dining privacy.
Among the many improvement projects the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn has undertaken, the most extensive renovation was completed in phases from 1990 to 1994. It included a new wing with 30 suites, indoor pool, fitness center and an elaborate new ballroom - at a total cost of $6 million.
The decision to move forward with a project on that scale, at that level of financial risk, remains pivotal in the hotel’s history.
At the time, the choice was either to upgrade the hotel to meet the high standards of Hilton Hotels
Corp., or take down the Hilton sign.
Andreoli stepped up - adding marble floors to hotel lobby and everything else Hilton required. Later, Barron Hilton, the chairman of the hotel company’s board of directors, personally wrote to Andreoli to say he had done the “right thing by reinvesting in his hotel.’‘
Besides the fundamental things - such as excellent service and consistent good food - a key to success has been a continued effort to improve and change with the times. On top of that, there has been a lot of hard work and dedication. For Andreoli’s friends, Sunday mornings often meant golf. For him, it meant checking on the eggs at the buffet.
An upcoming 40th Anniversary party on Oct. 2 will celebrate the hotel’s extraordinary accomplishments.
The event will benefit the Stephen A. Comunale Jr. Family Cancer Foundation, which Andreoli co-founded in memory of his late godson. More information about the foundation is available at www.stephencomunale.org.