Built in 1982, the Westin City Center, has experienced many renovations and updates since its establishment. Travel Weekly classifies the hotel as “Superior First Class,” which suits the buildings interior quite well. The most recent renovation took finished in Spring 2016. The upgrading of guest rooms, restaurant, lobby and meeting facilities totalled $17 million. The Westin is much more modern and no longer features its previous aesthetic. The most notable feature is the lobby. Upon entering the space you immediately notice the atrium style structure with vertical gardens. These add to the neutral ambiance, a common feature among Westin hotels. The high ceilings and glass windows provide and open space. This also allows you to see all the up to the twelfth floor which is rather unique.
The renovation also included remodeled bathrooms, 50-inch televisions, a refrigerator, and a safe for each of the guest rooms (Martin).
A stay at the hotel can range from $179 to $340 which can be rather expensive for multiple nights. This price range, however is most often feasible for the business men and women that lodge in the hotel. Not only is each room costly, some customers have complained that the Wi-fi is not complementary (Martin). Most people don’t mind as the location provides convenience and many options for hosting meetings and events. There are 16 rooms in the hotel that can hold up to 500 people. This is a rather high number but accounts for the demographic of customers.
But why does all of this matter? Who does all of this effect? In order to stay in a lavish hotel such as the Westin City Center you clearly need to have some pretty deep pockets. Not only that, the neighborhood surrounding the hotel adds to the 4-star rating. The status of the highlighted area below on the right considered is gentrified. Young professionals have moved into the area and aided in the transformation of the landscape. There has been a drastic increase in median home value and median income. In 2000 $147,700 was the average cost of a home in the neighborhood it is now $491,900, a 63% increase. There was a similar adjustment in income as it jumped from $35,561 to $92,255 (Gentrification Maps and Data). This severe increase is mainly what prompted the need for such drastic renovations to the hotel. In order to keep up with the evolving surroundings, the Westin needed to continue improving.
There was a report published by D.C.’s Chief Financial Officer stating that low-income residents are more likely to move out of the city (Gentrification Maps and Data). The trend was noticed through the filing of taxes. It is important to note that the cost of living in the District has improved drastically and has made it difficult for many to afford living here. It is important for the city to recognize this trend and take note of the causes. Some may be the ever expanding hotel industry. With so many luxury hotels located in such close proximity to the downtown area it makes it difficult to afford staying in the Capital. Seeing the nation’s monuments and government institutions is turning into a vacation only obtainable for those traveling on business or that have the money to stay in such high end lodging.