The Pleasanton Sheraton on Stoneridge Mall Road -- part of an 80-year-old brand identity that some in the travel industry believed had lost its way -- was rededicated this month as a newly owned AC Hotel by Marriott, to be operated by Hersha Hospitality Management.
Marriott, after pumping $20 million into upgrading, updating and retrofitting the six-story building, has a good chance to make the long-ago foreclosed hotel a success again.
Touting its superb location between a complex of Workday buildings on Stoneridge Mall Road and across from a soon to be revitalized Stoneridge Shopping Center, Marriott smartly bought the aging Sheraton, which Workday had hoped to buy for another office building.
Economic times have changed both for Pleasanton and the hotel industry since the late 2000s when many businesses were struggling. Next door to the new AC Hotel, Workday's new headquarters building is home to some 3,100 employees. So many, in fact, that it can cause delays for hotel guests trying to drive into AC's parking lot as streams of Workday people walked continually on the sidewalk between their own workplaces.
"Pleasanton is one of the most vibrant destinations in the Tri-Valley, continually experiencing rapid growth and revival," said Naveen Kakarla, president and CEO of Hersha.
"Workday's general confidence in Pleasanton and its investment in this area of the city has served as a catalyst for additional redevelopment," added Nelson Fialho, Pleasanton's city manager. "The property under the Marriott hotel flag will now leverage the travel activity created by Workday's training programs."
Marriott inherited the Sheraton hotel chain as part of its Starwood Hotels acquisition in 2016.
Although it was expected to close many of the Sheratons as not meeting its hotel standards, Marriott executives found that the hotel brand, founded in 1937, was too big and valuable.
By the end of 2017, there were a total of 441 Sheraton properties around the world, 192 of which are located in North America and another 122 in Asia Pacific, according to a report by Deanna Ting in Skift, an online global travel industry news source.
By room count, it is Marriott's third-largest brand, right after the namesake Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott brands, she reported.
Ting added, "Sheraton is also the most global of Marriott's 30 brands, and since it's been around since 1937, there are Sheratons that have some of the best locations in world, even if the hotels themselves are a bit outdated."
As a result, Marriott decided to start renovations on three Sheratons viewed as top potential properties: the Sheraton Miami Airport, Sheraton Wilmington South and Sheraton Pleasanton.
A look inside the newly-renovated Sheraton -- now the new AC Hotel in Pleasanton -- shows that the results are phenomenal.
At the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce-organized ribbon-cutting on Nov. 14, I saw a complete and comprehensive transformation of the main lobby and the 171 "reimagined" guest rooms. The hotel features communal spaces for business meetings, even some around a new outdoor pool deck. Custom artwork lines the walls.
And, as general manager Demetrius Hodge pointed out, besides being located just minutes away from Interstate 580 and within walking distance to the West Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station, Workday and the Stoneridge Shopping Center, the AC Hotel Pleasanton is just 30 miles from San Francisco, near the Livermore Valley wine country, the San Francisco Premium Outlets and plenty of golf courses.