Projects' timetables to be aligned due to room needs

TV producers might well have a front row seat to a reality show the next time they visit for a market: “Extreme Makeover: Croisette Edition.”

The Croisette hotels — the Carlton, Martinez, Majestic and Grand — are all planning renovations and expansions that will require some shuttering, but all will be open during the film festival. Due to the need for rooms during Mipcom, Mifed and Midem, the hotels have to align their projects’ timetables.

“We’re in the midst of a big spiral of renovations,” said David Lisnard, first advisor to Cannes mayor, Bernard Brochand. “Because Cannes is a brand and we want to ameliorate its packaging.”

The Majestic, which has recently bought the wing adjacent to the palace that was occupied by the Bank of France, is building 44 rooms, a shop and a spa, for a total addition of 7,200 square meters.

The Carlton, which has the largest-scale restoration projects, will go next, planning to add 12, 600 square meters with 110 rooms, an auditorium and a spa.

The hotel will close for six month starting in November — only briefly opening for the real estate confab MIPIM in February. Intl. communication director Narjiss Falcoz would not confirm the project’s dates.

The Martinez has plans to renovate its first floor and its restaurant Le Relais. “We don’t want to lose clients to other cities,” said Richard Schilling, Hotel Martinez’s general manager.

Le Palais Stephanie, formerly the Noga Hilton, has had plans to undergo a major overhaul, but all plans have remained in a limbo.

Lisnard said the hotel, now managed by Sofitel, “absolutely needs to be updated.” The city, however, will only allow the work to be done in multiple stages over a long period of time.

While such constructions make festivaliers and locals alike cringe, they bring the city significant long-term economic profits. Business travel brings the city more than 835 million euros, representing 42% of the city’s hotel activity and generating, directly and indirectly, 16,439 jobs.

Hotels on the Croisette generate the bulk of Cannes business travel revenues.

“We’re not in competition,” said Schilling, “but there is a healthy emulation between us.”

“Whatever the Martinez does, everyone follows,” Schilling said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Dominique Desseigne, president of the Lucien Barriere Group that owns the Majestic, made the same comment about his hotel.

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