Courtyard by Marriott renovates in Old Town

WICHITA — What’s the fun in traveling only to be stuck in a hotel room?

That’s what Marriott International thinks, and that’s why the Courtyard by Marriott at 820 E. Second St. in Old Town has had a major renovation of its lobby and other public areas.

Jim Korroch, developer of the 128-room hotel that opened in 2006, says the buzz word for the renovation was to “activate” the lobby.

He says the idea was “to really make it an area where guests feel like they can get out of their rooms and … socialize with other guests.”

There’s a new bistro called Table 820. It’s mainly for guests, although Korroch says, “Anybody is welcome to use it.”

It’s in the same area as a bar and a Starbucks service station.

Without these kinds of amenities, Korroch says, “Frankly, it causes us to hang out more in our rooms.”

The hotel’s traditional front desk has been replaced with welcome pedestals of sorts, which are more private and personal, according to the hotel.

There’s free WiFi, computer terminals, a printer and the thing that often proves the most elusive for business and other travelers: plenty of electrical outlets.

The renovation has been planned for some time, and it happened in conjunction with some renovation of ground floor rooms that were damaged by flooding last fall.

“All of those room have been redone,” Korroch says.

They’re all going to be done again with all of the other rooms late this year when the hotel implements new designs and color schemes.

Korroch says sales have met his expectations since the hotel opened.

“It’s been right on target with what our hopes were for the hotel.”

It sounds like his other downtown hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites at WaterWalk, is exceeding his expectations.

“That’s just been a spectacular investment for us.”