ARIZONA NEWS

Tucson’s iconic Hotel Congress in first phase of renovation plan

Jul 26, 2021, 4:05 AM
Electrician Clifton Zenizo of Maxim Electric digs the trench where the electric lines will run to p...

Electrician Clifton Zenizo of Maxim Electric digs the trench where the electric lines will run to power the misters in the Club Congress Plaza at Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson, Ariz., on July 15, 2021. Tucson's iconic hotel is getting a revamp that some staff say is more than a century in the making. The historic property is slated to re-open Aug. 12 after the first phase of a $750,000 remodeling effort.(Cathalena Burch/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

(Cathalena Burch/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Tucson’s iconic Hotel Congress is getting a revamp that staff say is more than a century in the making.

The historic property, which has been closed all of July, is slated to re-open Aug. 12 after the first phase of a $750,000 remodeling effort, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Todd Haney, general manager, said the new improvements include expanding the outdoor plaza where they typically host concerts. The space will have a retractable canopy with a commercial misting system.

David Slutes, the hotel’s entertainment director, said they want to be able to have more concerts during the summer months. But when it’s cooler, the canopy won’t be up.

“That’s really the goal, to expand the 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-meter) Copper Hall will serve as a jazz music lounge and tasting room highlighting local wines.

The hotel is investing more than $100,000, and Rio Nuevo, the tax increment finance district, is chipping in $600,000, according to Haney.

“Coming out of a pandemic, we are phasing everything we are doing on the availability of our resources,” Haney said.

Built in 1919, the hotel’s 102-year-old cast iron pipes are also in need of a makeover. Replacing the plumbing has been in the works for three years, Haney said. The hotel has been doing patch-work repairs over the years.

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

The Tucson landmark has weathered several events over the decades. In 1934, the hotel caught fire. The blaze ultimately led authorities to notorious bank robber John Dillinger, who was hiding out there with his gang.

Arizona News

(Bell Bank Park Rendering)...
Kevin Stone

Bell Bank gets naming rights to massive Mesa sports complex

The massive sports and entertainment complex opening next year in southeast Mesa will be known as Bell Bank Park under a 10-year naming rights deal announced Tuesday.
11 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...
Ali Vetnar

Phoenix mountain rescues decrease during pilot program to close trails in extreme heat

A city of Phoenix pilot program to close popular hiking trails during some of the hottest summer days has resulted in fewer mountain rescues for first responders, according to new data.
11 hours ago
Aloys Ntirushwamaboko (Photo via Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert canceled after body identified as missing 103-year-old Phoenix man

A Silver Alert for a 103-year-old Phoenix man who had been missing for nearly a month was canceled Tuesday after formal identification of his body, authorities said.
11 hours ago
A vial of Covishield, an Indian made vaccine for COVID-19, lies at a vaccination center set up at a...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 1,934 new COVID-19 cases, 71 more deaths Tuesday

Arizona health officials on Tuesday reported 1,934 new COVID-19 cases and 71 additional deaths from the disease.
11 hours ago
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)...
Griselda Zetino

Carmona ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids

Arizona’s top pandemic adviser feels “cautiously optimistic” about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for younger kids and believes it could help cut down the transmission of the virus.
11 hours ago
(Cigna Medical Group photo)...
KTAR.com

Cigna Medical Group opens new health care center at SkySong in Scottsdale

Cigna Medical Group has opened the doors of a new health care center at SkySong in Scottsdale, allowing patients to access multiple services in one place.
11 hours ago
Tucson’s iconic Hotel Congress in first phase of renovation plan