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Here’s the latest rendering of the Worthy downtown convention center hotel

More chances to take sides on the Walt Worthy downtown Convention Center hotel.  Not that we take any sides in the matter.

The latest architect's rendering is shown here, thanks to efforts by Worthy's Davenport Hotel Collection company.

Also here (below) is a PFD document with a detailed summary and drawings of what will be inside the huge 722-room, 15-room hotel.

The work continues on the ground and is expected to continue through next year, with an expected opening in 2015.

The whole point, according to the Spokane Public Facilities District, is to give downtown a lot more room and more dazzle to attract events and conventions.  A consultant told the PFD that the hotel will draw roughly nine more events each year to the Convention Center and generate roughly 20,000 extra room nights from those conventions.

It also predicted the hotel would host 75 to 100 new events per year.


Documents:

It’s official: the previous rendering of Walt Worthy’s proposed hotel was out-of-date

Office Hours pulled the image that ran with a blog entry yesterday about the proposed Convention Center hotel.

This was done at the request of Matt Jensen, who works for the Davenport Collection, the corporate entity that runs the Davenport buildings, the Lusso and would run the new hotel, if it's built.

We debated not pulling the rendering, which appeared online at the Public Facilities District site. It was, at one time, a formal rendering presented to the district during earlier discussions.

Jensen said the old rendering is no longer up-to-date and doesn't reflect the most recent plans for the building. Since we'd rather have a true rendering, we opted to pull the image.

Jensen said a new rendering should be available within a week.

Spa Paradiso looks to open the end of April, taking new digs in Kendall Yard

Valentine's Day related business item. Spa Paradiso, last seen in the basement of the downtown Spokane Davenport Hotel, plans on reopening in a new location in Kendall Yards the end of April.

The full-service spa and salon has been closed since fall 2012. It originally hoped to open in a new commercial building in the Kendall Yards development on Dec. 1. Project managers however didn't finish the building that early.

The spa will take half of the 13,000-square foot two-story building due east of the Cedar Plaza building, which houses Central Food. The other tenant in the new building is The Inlander newspaper.

The building will be the second commercial building at Kendall Yards, a Greenstone multiuse development west of the Monroe Street Bridge and north of the river.

Co-owner Larry Schoonover said he'll start booking appointments in early April. The company will have around 35 employees.

They will lease about half of a 13,000-square-foot, two-story building due west of the new Cedar Plaza Building. A second unidentified tenant will take the other half of the space.

The new commercial building is part of the 78-acre Kendall Yards development, a project of Greenstone Corp. So far more than 140 residential units have been sold or are under construction

Three former Davenport Hotel workers file a claim, asserting time deductions were illegal

Three former service workers of the Davenport Hotel have filed a suit against the Spokane hospitality company, claiming it deducted wages from their paychecks for breaks they didn’t take.

Attorney Kenneth Zigler filed the claim in Spokane County Superior Court. He said he hopes to certify the claims as a class action against the corporation that operates the hotel and other downtown businesses.

Zigler said it’s too early to guess how many other hourly wage workers might join the suit, adding it could be “a significant number.”

The current Davenport workers he’s contacted “don’t want to put their name on the lawsuit,” Zigler said.

The three plaintiffs are Richard Munoz, Mary Morgan Corrigan and Nicole Hughes. The suit doesn’t indicate which jobs the three held or when they left the company.

 Zigler said they and others who might join the suit were employed at the historic Davenport Hotel, the Davenport Tower, the Post Street Ale House, the Hotel Lusso or the Peacock Lounge. Any claims would only apply to practices during the past three years.

Jobs mentioned in the suit are bussers, bartenders, hostesses and servers.

Lynnelle Caudill, managing director of the hotel group, said the suit is without merit. “This appears to be an action being pushed by a former disgruntled employee who was terminated and banned from hotel premises, for unrelated reasons,” she wrote by email.

Jay Inslee will join Wednesday’s GSI ‘meet your legislators’ session downtown

Yesterday's Officehours post about Wednesday's GSI Meet Your Legislators has to be updated.

GSI this morning confirmed that Gov-Elect Jay Inslee will join the event, which starts at 3 p.m. at the Davenport Hotel.  Yesterday's entry described who else will be there.

Key details: It's in the Davenport Pennington Room; the forum runs 3 to 5 p.m..

Inslee has stated he intends to hang around at the reception starting around 5:15 p.m. in the same place.

Cost: $50 for members of GSI, $80 for others.
  

Will Walt Worthy’s big new headquarter hotel line up with Marriott or Hilton?

This week's big announcement about plans by Walt and Karen Worthy included the likelihood that the new building will be co-branded with a national hotel chain.

We asked again today (Friday) if the Worthys have already narrowed down the choices to one or two major U.S. brands.

The answer: They're talking now to Marriott. But Hilton is also in the picture.

As of Friday, no solid terms or agreements have been set. 

Worthys’ project would be more than twice the size of Davenport Hotel

Today's big local business story was the announcement by Walt and Karen Worthy that they're about to begin a plan to build a large headquarter hotel near the Spokane Convention Center.

They acknowledged that the plan is for a very big hotel. About 550,000 square feet. Plus another 300,000 square feet for a garage adjoining the hotel.

By comparison, the historic Davenport Hotel is roughly 250,000 square feet. That takes up a whole block.

So imagine a city block twice as big, that's about the size of the new hotel the Worthys say they're going to start.

Groundbreaking would be the first quarter of 2013. It would likely not be ready until mid to late 2014, according to today's press conference  held downtown.

Reward targets Davenport Hotel thief

A Spokane man who stole laptop computers from a convention at the Davenport Hotel is wanted by Crime Stoppers after ditching drug addiction treatment.

 Sean Alexander Blair, 31, hasn't reported to the Washington Department of Corrections since leaving rehab on April 25. A no-bail warrant was issued July 11 for his arrest.

He already was facing felony theft and drug charges when police identified him last year as a suspect in Nov. 17 thefts at the Davenport Hotel, which occurred as the Tri-State Grain Growers convened at the upscale hotel in downtown Spokane.

Blair was sentenced to drug rehab as part of his sentence for felony property crime convictions. He told his rehab counselor he liked the feeling meth gave him; addiction experts say financial problems and family issues may contribute to his use.

Anyone with information on Blair's location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters do not have to give their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Out of the basement into Kendall Yards: Spa Paradiso grabs a river view

Spa Paradiso, the downtown beauty care business in the Davenport Hotel, will move into new space in the Kendall Yards development, owners Jan and Larry Schoonover said.

The natural-care and beauty spa opened its doors in the 1990s in the basement of the former Bank Of American building downtown. It moved to the lower level of the Davenport in 2002.

The move will allow their business to expand and take advantage of views of the Spokane River, said Larry Schoonover. “We really think the location in Kendall Yards is special. The commercial and residential mix there, in the heart of the city, is really unique,” said Larry Schoonover.

The business has 35 employees and will likely add more after the relocation, he said.

The Schoonovers will close their current spa July 22 and open on Dec. 1.

They will lease about half of a 13,000-square-foot, two-story building due west of the new Cedar Plaza Building. A second unidentified tenant will take the other half of the space.

The new commercial building is part of the 78-acre Kendall Yards development, a project of Greenstone Corp. So far more than 60 residential units have been sold or are in construction.

Plans include for at least five more commercial properties to be developed along the river toward the Monroe Street Bridge, including a grocery store.

Connected to the spa building will be another commercial building also measuring 13,000-square-feet. That adjoining two-level building will be built by Greenstone but owned by the Pacific Northwest Inlander. It plans to move into the building in the fall.

News Quiz Offers Gift Card, Tickets

If you think you can find a way to use free movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel, this week's news quiz offers opportunities to win both. All entries are eligible to win two tickets to area cinemas, and the overall champion will take the Davenport Prize. You're 10 interactive questions away from being in the running! Take the quiz here.

  • Last week's winners: Janielle Monroe of Spokane Valley (movie tickets) and Jennifer Neff of Medical Lake (gift card).
  • Only 2 Berry Pickers on leaderboard among Top 37: Lolo & TTaggart

News Quiz Offers Shock Tickets, More

If it's Monday, it must be time for a new current-events quiz. Simply by participating this week, you'll be eligible for three random drawings for Spokane Shock football tickets. And if you finish at the top of the leaderboard, a $50 Davenport Hotel gift card could be yours. Good luck! Last week's winners: Thomas Fricks of Veradale (gift card) and John Owen of Spokane Valley (Regal Cinemas movie tickets). This week's News Quiz here.

DFO: Only 3 Berry Pickers on the leaderboard so far this week: Lolo, Duffer & KCres.

News Quiz Offers Shock Tickets

Bob Springli of Hayden won the secondary raffle prize in the weekly News Quiz contest — two tickets to the Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Show. Carleen Wickstrom of Spokane won the $50 Davenport Hotel gift certificate for being the best guesser. This week, the Spokesman-Review will have two random drawings on Friday, each for two tickets to the next Spokane Shock home football game. You can take the quiz by clicking on the "That's News for You" button in the righthand rail or here.

  • 3 HBO commenters are on the leaderboard: Lolo, Eddie Torreal & Kcres

CdA Resort, Davenport Rank High

In its Best Hotels in the United States, U.S. News & World Report ranks The Coeur d'Alene Resort as the second best hotel in Idaho, behind only the Teton Springs Lodge & Spa, near the Wyoming border, 24 miles northwest of Jackson, Wyo. Of Duane Hagadone's resort, U.S. News & World Report writes: "Overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene in northwest Idaho — near the Washington state border — The Coeur d'Alene Resort caters to two types of guests: those in need of some R&R and those in need of an adrenaline rush." Full ranking here. Meanwhile, in Washington, the magazine ranks the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane as the state's fifth best hotel. Washington list here. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene Resort)

Question: Has anyone stayed at the Coeur d'Alene Resort or Davenport Hotel? Impressions?

If you need CPR on your holiday spirit

The Slice Blog recommends ducking into the lobby here.

www.stamps-auction.com

Davenport theft suspect convicted in La.

A man accused of stealing from the Davenport Hotel after being hired under a stolen identity has been sentenced in federal court in Louisiana for a similar scheme.

William Joseph Johnson Jr., 55, is to serve about five years in prison for charges related to a $77,000 fraud he perpetrated against a hotel chain based in Natchitoches, La., between October 2006 and January 2007.

He’s still wanted on a handful of felony charges in Spokane County for allegedly stealing from the Davenport after duping hotel administrators into hiring him as the financial controller.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

Nov. 21, 2008: Man accused of ripping of Davenport Hotel

Facebook ‘boost’ for business owners and managers is Tuesday morning

UPDATED:  

Part of tomorrow's Facebook Small Business Boost is a summary of how Facebook, starting in January, will award small businesses up to $10 million worth of free Facebook advertising. The goal of these these ad credits is  to give 200,000 businesses across  the country a $50 boost.

 
More on the Facebook "boost" taking place Tuesday in Spokane, as part of the ongoing National Federation of Independent Business summit at the Davenport Hotel, in downtown. 

Four reps from Facebook will kick off the "boost" at 8:45 a.m. in the hotel. They are: Matt Baker, Bess Siegfried, Carlos Tejuco and Maxine Schlein. All have the title of "small business growth specialist." I have a feeling you can find their profiles on Facebook.

The event is open to the public.

The goal is to help more businesses find ways to leverage the reach and range of Facebook.

The agenda for the rest of the summit is here.

Remembering Louis Davenport

Yesterday I had the privilege of walking with some Friends of the Davenport to remember on his death day, Louis Davenport, who left behind the Davenport Hotel.

It was a glorious day for the short stroll in Riverside Memorial Park. And it was refreshing to see how simple Davenport's gravesite looks.

He didn't need a huge monument in death, explained Dennis Murphy, president of Heritage Funeral Home because "his monument is the hotel."

Davenport "checked out" of life July 28, 1951.

(Photo courtesy of Tom McArthur)

 

Davenport, CDA Resort get awards in magazine survey

Smart Meetings magazine has picked the Davenport Hotel and the Coeur d’Alene Resort as platinum-medal winners in its 2010 list of notable gathering spots. The only other Idaho site chosen is Sun Valley Resort.

Other locations in Washington chosen were:

• The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
• Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
• Hyatt Regency Bellevue
• Skamania Lodge
• Tulalip Resort Casino

Davenport Hotel rape case dismissed

Rape charges have been dismissed against a man arrested for an alleged incident at the Davenport Hotel Tower last month. 

Benjamin F. Cooper, 25, left jail last week after Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price last Wednesday approved a request by Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz to dismiss first-degree rape and first-degree robbery charges.

Evidence problems in the case mean prosecutors “can’t prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to court documents.

Spokane police had said that the alleged victim in the case changed her story and was not seen as credible.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning prosecutors can refile.

Cooper met his accuser and her boyfriend at a bar July 16 and walked the woman to her hotel room after her boyfriend said he wanted to say out drinking, according to court documents. He was arrested early July 17.

Court officials said at Cooper’s first court appearance July 22 that he is being investigated in two sexual assaults involving minors, one in Pend Oreille County.

He has an extensive criminal record beginning in at least 1999, including 12 assault convictions (three felonies and nine misdemeanors).

Davenport rape suspect probed in 2 attacks

A man accused of raping a woman at the Davenport Hotel last weekend also is a suspect in two sexual assaults involving minors, court officials said Wednesday.

Benjamin F. Cooper, 25, remains in jail on $150,000 bond after a woman he met at a bar late Friday said he raped her in the hotel room she’d rented with her boyfriend. Cooper had walked the woman to the hotel after her boyfriend said he wanted to stay out drinking.

“I’ve been trying to get off the alcohol but I was drinking too much that night and I don’t know what happened,” Cooper said in court Wednesday.

A court official said the alleged victim, who lives in Idaho, is afraid to leave her home because of Cooper.

Along with first-degree rape, Cooper faces a first-degree robbery charge after the woman said he stole her cell phone and cash and ripped the phone cords out of the wall.

According to Spokane police, video surveillance shows the two at the hotel, and Cooper leaving alone about 35 minutes later. He told police he’d only kissed the woman.

A court official said Cooper is a suspect in two sexual assault investigations in the last six weeks, including one in Pend Oreille County. Cooper said he hadn’t appeared in court the last two days because of asthma problems.

Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ann Brady said Cooper already has robbery conviction that counts as a strike under the state’s three strikes, life in prison law.

“Just because he’s intoxicated, that doesn’t give him the right to be a danger to the community,” Brady said.

Brady requested $300,000 bond; Price approved half that amount after noting Cooper has several criminal conviction but just one failure to appear in court.

“He does seem to make it to court,” Price said.

Man accused of rape at Davenport Hotel

A Spokane man is accused of raping a woman last weekend at an upscale downtown hotel. 

Benjamin F. Cooper, 25, was arrested early Saturday after the alleged victim said he attacked her in a room she’d rented with her boyfriend at the Davenport Hotel Tower.

The woman and her boyfriend met Cooper at a bar, and the woman asked Cooper to walk her back to her hotel when her boyfriend wanted to stay out, according to court documents filed in Superior Court this week.

Read the rest of my story here.