Tucson’s Hotel Congress in first phase of renovation plan » Albuquerque Journal

TUCSON, Arizona – Tucson’s iconic Hotel Congress is getting a revamp that the staff say is more than a century in the making.

The historic property, which will be closed for the entire month of July, will reopen on August 12 after the first phase of a $750,000 renovation, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Todd Haney, general manager, said the new improvements include the expansion of the outdoor plaza where they usually hold concerts. The space will have a retractable canopy with a commercial misting system.

David Slutes, the hotel’s entertainment director, said they would like to have more concerts during the summer months. But when it’s cooler, the canopy doesn’t go up.

“That’s really the goal, to expand usage,” Slutes said. “We still want to have concerts under the stars, because that’s the best.”

Inside, the 2,200-square-foot (204-square-foot) Copper Hall will serve as a lounge for jazz music and a tasting room featuring local wines.

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The hotel is investing more than $100,000, and Rio Nuevo, the tax-raising financial district, is investing $600,000, according to Haney.

“When we get out of a pandemic, we phase everything we do on the availability of our resources,” Haney said.

Built in 1919, the hotel’s 102-year-old cast iron pipes also need a facelift. Replacing the plumbing has been three years in the making, Haney said. The hotel has done patchwork repairs over the years.

“We can’t continue to run a business with a 102-year-old sanitation infrastructure,” Haney said.

The Tucson Monument has endured several events over the decades. In 1934 the hotel caught fire. The fire eventually led authorities to the notorious bank robber John Dillinger, who was hiding there with his gang.

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