USC-managed Radisson hotel in the midst of major renovations

The USC Radisson hotel, home to a number of students, is currently undergoing major renovations.

Brand new · Construction on the lobby of the Radisson hotel on Figueroa Street has been underway since December. The work on the lobby, which is almost done, is part of phase one. - Gage Allard | Daily Trojan

The Radisson, owned by the university and managed by USC Auxiliary Services, is being redone in an effort university officials hope will benefit students.

The three-phase project began in late 2008 with the openings of McKay’s restaurant and Rosso Oro’s Pizzeria and will continue at least through 2011.

Phase one includes the already completed restaurant renovations and resurfacing of the pool deck, as well as total renovations of the lobby, front desk area, gift shop, first floor hallway, elevator bank and the second floor banquet space.

In phase two, which will start in a few months, all the guest rooms will be redone.

Phase three will include the renovation of student rooms, which occupy four floors of the Radisson. Plans for this phase are still tentative, however.

The decision to update the hotel was a joint decision between Carlson and USC.

Teresa Shary, general manager of the Radisson and director of USC Auxiliary Services, said the goal of the changes is “improving the look of the Radisson and making it more contemporary.”

The pool has already been renovated, and the lobby and front desk area are currently undergoing a face-lift. Phase one will be finished by mid-March, according to Shary.

Phase two, which Shary regards as “exciting” and “fun,” involves renovations of the 138 guest rooms.

Renovations will be done floor by floor so the hotel can continue operating as usual. Shary expects the process will take about a year.

“A decision hasn’t been made beyond next year,” she said.

In the meantime, renovations have been planned to minimize the inconvenience to both students and guests, Shary said. Carlson and USC made sure major actions, such as the demolition of the lobby, took place while students were away.

The lobby was closed for a month after its demolition in December, but a temporary front desk and valet was set up by the hotel’s back entrance, so operations were largely unaffected.

Renovations on the second floor are currently underway and have rendered the student-only gym unavailable. The Radisson, however, is accommodating students and guests by designating hours for students to use the guest gym until the second floor is complete.

Students who live in the Radisson say they were most affected by the project at the beginning of the school year.

Jessie Wu, a freshman majoring in business administration, said the renovations were slightly inconvenient.

“Elevators were sometimes off or broken,” she said. “We had to walk more.”

Wu said she eventually got used to it, however.

Will Ji, a freshman majoring in business administration, agreed.

“We thought it would be worse than it actually was,” he said.

Melinda Guillory, an undecided freshman and a Radisson resident, said, even though the “lobby was destroyed,” she hasn’t felt inconvenienced by the project, nor has she heard complaints from other residents.

Allen Tate, director of sales and marketing for the Radisson, said a majority of the Radisson’s business comes from campus, including parents, guest speakers and campus visitors. He is hoping students become aware of the renovations and will visit the Radisson more often.

There will be a grand re-opening of the renovated Radisson in March.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about it,” Shary said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the Radisson hotel is owned by Carlson Hotels Worldwide. The hotel is actually owned by USC.