- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2001

The Hay-Adams Hotel is closing its doors for four months to undergo a $14 million renovation of the entire 143-room historical property.
The 73-year-old hotel, located at 16th and H Streets NW, will shut down Nov. 5 and remain closed until March.
"Shutting down for the restoration allows us to expedite the work, as opposed to disrupting the guests," said Lynn Rollins, director of marketing and sales at the Hay-Adams, which has never been closed before.
The renovation will include all new guest rooms from bedding and carpeting to furniture and bathrooms. The rooms, which currently do not have their own thermostats, will have a new heating and air-conditioning system with in-room controls.
A new state-of-the-art phone system will also be installed.
The construction will also include bringing the Hay-Adams up-to-date with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards, making parts of the property like the Lafayette restaurant and Off the Record bar accessible.
The average price for a room at the Hay-Adams is $425, but will increase to about $475 after the hotel reopens, Ms. Rollins said.
During the renovation, the hotel's sales staff will stay open for business handling reservations and special-event bookings for March 2002 and beyond. Guests will be able to follow the progress of the renovation on the hotel's Web site (www.hayadams.com).
The staff will also recommend other luxury hotels in the District for guests to stay in during the temporary closure, said Ms. Rollins, who would not disclose the estimated amount of money the hotel will likely lose during that time.
To minimize the risk of losing guests permanently to its competitors, the Hay-Adams will also follow up with those guests with a welcome amenity from the Hay-Adams or a personal note from General Manager Hans Bruland.
Ms. Rollins said occupancy at the Hay-Adams during the November to February time period usually hovers around 70 percent, which is above the city's average occupancy rate.
For the past several years, hotel occupancy has hovered from around 50 percent to less than 70 percent from November through February, according to the Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corp.
Last year, for instance, November and December's hotel-occupancy rate was 67.7 percent and 50.8 percent, respectively.
Hotel business starts to pick up in early spring exactly the time the Hay-Adams plans to open its doors again. In March 2001, the city's hotel occupancy rate was 83.1 percent.

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