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Gainesvilles Holiday Inn will soon be a Ramada
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The Gainesville Holiday Inn will soon be getting a makeover and changing into a Ramada. New room designs, updated wall coverings and the outdoor pool area are part of the overhaul.

Sometimes change is a good thing.

At least, it is for Cathy and Kent Scarbrough, the team that runs the Holiday Inn in downtown Gainesville.

Cathy Scarbrough has worked at the hotel for 16 years, where she started as a desk attendant.

“It’s my baby,” she said.

Everything from the floors to the ceilings and everything in between will transform and officially transition into a Ramada by Feb. 28.

“We’re so excited,” said Cathy Scarbrough, the director of sales for the hotel.

The month of February will be pivotal, she said, and when most of the renovations will take place to the 121-room building.

A few things have already changed, including the vinyl inlay that used to adorn the walls, a few missing columns from the doorways of the lounge and the restaurant, and a prototype room on the first floor.

“If you’re familiar with (the old Holiday Inn), you could tell there have been some changes,” said Kent Scarbrough, the general manager of the hotel.

The new rooms will have brand-new, single-tiled sheets of marble in the showers, instead of the grouted effect they used to have. The walls will be painted, new artwork will be added and the floors and the bedding will change.

Prices for the new rooms will remain very close to the same price. According to www.hotels.com, prices range from $125 to $155 a night.

The hotel also has a 24-hour business center and front desk, a seasonal outdoor pool, free buffet breakfast, free WiFi, free parking, smoke-free rooms, a fitness center, three conference rooms and an airport shuttle, according to www.hotels.com.

“We will be competitive with local places. There won’t be a significant change,” Kent Scarbrough said.

On the pool side of the building, the rooms will have hardwood floors, which are being installed now. The other side will have carpet.

Most of the transition will be on the inside of the building.

The hallways have been stripped of their original wallpaper and painted a chocolate brown to match the decor and incoming carpet.

The size, the structure and number of floors and rooms will remain the same, Kent Scarbrough said.

The only changes on the outside will be the removal of Holiday Inn signage and a makeover for the outdoor patio and courtyard area’s landscaping.

Guests and local people may rejoice to know the dark mahogany wood of the lounge won’t change, as Cathy Scarbrough said it’s a popular spot.

In the restaurant, the buffet table will be moved farther away from the wall to allow access from both sides for dinner and breakfast.

“Everybody loves our breakfast,” Cathy Scarbrough said.

Overall, the hotel will have a modern feel.

While it has been a Holiday Inn since 2006, it was also a Best Western for some time and a Ramada before that.
Cathy Scarbrough said the hotel was originally mapped out to be a Ramada, but was just called the Lanier Centre Hotel for three or four months when it first opened.

“People still remember it as a Ramada,” she said.

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