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ANAHEIM, CA-Makar Properties of Newport Beach plans to spend more than $60 million to renovate and upgrade the 1,572-room Hilton Anaheim, one of California’s largest hotels, which Makar bought early this year for $160 million. The Newport Beach-based hotel owner has already upgraded and reopened the property’s twin 28,500-sf California and Pacific ballrooms and says that in the coming months it will renovate nearly every other element of the hotel, which is at 777 Convention Way.

According to Paul Makarechian, president and CEO of Makar Properties, the renovations will help the hotel to capitalize on its proximity to attractions that include the Anaheim Convention Center next door to the hotel, Disneyland and a host of others. With the renovation of the ballrooms complete, the hotel’s 51 meeting breakout rooms are scheduled to be upgraded next. The Hilton Anaheim features 100,000 sf of flexible meeting space, notes the hotel’s general manager, Harold Rapoza.

Makar is also under way on the renovation of the first floor of guest rooms, a part of the project that will continue floor-by-floor through August 2008. Of the 1,572 total rooms, 49 are suites of varying sizes and 44 are newly created studios that feature conference tables, oversized living/sleeping areas and other business-oriented touches.

In addition to the renovations already planned and announced, Makar is working on plans for a redesigned lobby, a porte cochere, an expanded Starbucks Marketplace, new restaurants and an upgraded fitness center. The company expects to complete those plans in the coming months.

The 14-story Hilton Anaheim, which was built in 1984, was renovated previously in 1996 and 1997. Makar’s investment in the upgrades reflects what hotel industry analysts describe as investors’ continued interest in Anaheim because of the city’s strong flow of leisure and business travelers to places like Disneyland and the city’s convention center.

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