TRENTON, N.J.—Welcome Hotel Group, a subsidiary of Edison Broadcasting, announced the completion of the acquisition of the 197-room Lafayette Yard Hotel and Conference Center in Trenton, N.J. from Lafayette Yards Community Development Corporation. The company paid $6 million for the bankrupt hotel as the winning bidder at a public auction.
“To make sure that we match the best brand for downtown Trenton’s only upscale hotel, we are reviewing all of our options with the major first-class hotel franchise brands,” said Mike Marshall, president and CEO of Marshall Hotels and Resorts, operators of the hotel. “The hotel has great bones and fundamentally is in very good shape. However, it will need investment to conform to the standards of the future brand. The hotel will remain open during the selection and renovation, which we expect to take three to six months. Fortunately, we don’t anticipate the renovation activity to be undisruptive to our guests.
“New ownership brings new energy and investment, which will have a positive impact on this property,” Marshall noted. “Now that the bankruptcy is in the past and ownership is settled, potential brands and guests will have greater confidence in the long-term viability of the Lafayette Yard. Because the hotel is privately held, we can be more entrepreneurial and creative in our marketing and operations.”
Marshall said that his management company is undertaking a thorough analysis of the hotel. “Our focus the past several months has been on stabilizing the hotel until the ownership issue could be worked out,” he noted. “We are starting with no pre-conceived ideas, but because we have operated the property since May, we do have a good understanding of its inner-workings. Working with new ownership, we are going back to square one to look for every opportunity to enhance the property and the guest experience. We don’t anticipate any wholesale changes, but we want to make sure that we look at every option.”
Formerly operated as a Marriott franchise, the Lafayette Yard Hotel and Conference Center is near the U.S. Federal Court, New Jersey state government offices, and both the New Jersey State Supreme Court and the Mercer County Court. It features 11,000 square feet of meeting space.