Washington state Best Western shifts allegiance to Sheraton

The Best Western Lakeway Inn completed a makeover in the past year, and soon it will have a new name.

The 132-room hotel is changing brands from Best Western to Sheraton. On Oct. 1 it will officially be called the Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel and Conference Center. The Bellingham facility will become part of Starwood Hotels company, which has more than 1,200 properties in 100 countries with 10 different brands. In Western Washington, other Starwood properties include the Westin and the W Seattle hotels in the Seattle area.

“We are positioning the property to be Bellingham’s premier meeting and conference destination, offering flexible meeting space for conventions and citywide events,” said Larry MacDonald, GM of the hotel.

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The change in brand also will mean an increase in staffing, MacDonald said. The hotel typically has about 100 employees, increasing by 20 during the peak periods. After the facility takes on the Sheraton name, it will add about 15 more employees during peak periods.

The hotel already has been through a multimillion-dollar renovation, headed by David Storm, CEO and president of Providence Hospitality Partners, which manages the facility. Along with remodeling the Chinuk restaurant, improvements were made to the main lobby, the indoor pool, the fitness center, Poppe’s 360 Neighborhood Pub and many of the guestrooms.

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The three properties are a Hampton Inn & Suites, a Westin and an Autograph Collection hotel.

In June, international inbound travel to the United States saw its worst performance since September 2015, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

The openings consist of a dual-branded property in San Jose, Calif.; a Hyatt Place in Vacaville, Calif.; and a Residence Inn by Marriott outside Seattle.