A La Jolla hotel reopened its doors Thursday, eight months after undergoing $4 million in renovations.
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The reopening of the 110-room Hotel La Jolla could mean more jobs and more tourists providing a boost to the local economy.
While the hotel looks about the same on the outside, the inside has gone through some major changes.
The hotel's lobby has gone from dated to spa-like, and the area outside of the lobby has gone from mostly grass to a decorated lounge.
The 40-year-old hotel is situated on prime property along La Jolla Shores Drive with an ocean view.
During Thursday's grand reopening ceremony, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders gave an example of why the community values the storied hotel.
"One of the pieces of folklore is that Muhammad Ali used to stay here and entertain guests and staff with magic tricks down in the lobby," Sanders said.
The upgrades have meant the increase in hotel jobs -- from 45 to 75, with 15 more expected within a year.
The hotel is also partnering with a number of community organizations, including the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The hotel will donate 5 percent of the room charges to the aquarium whenever a guest books the Birch Aquarium package.
"What the Hotel La Jolla is helping us to do is to continue offering ocean science education to San Diego," said Jessica Crawford, marketing manager for Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
The partnership could amount to tens of thousands of dollars a year for the aquarium's "Adopt-A-Fish" program.
The San Diego Youth Symphony and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego are also among the hotel's community partners.
In addition to the Hotel La Jolla, the California-based Kimpton Group also runs the downtown hotels Solamar and Palomar.
Why three in San Diego?
"Oh, my gosh, because San Diego is amazing. There's so much to do here, you can be surfing one minute, you can have a business meeting the next minute," explained Hotel La Jolla General Manager Caroline Dyal.
Dyal said there are plans for the group to expand further in San Diego, most likely along the coast.
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