Hotel Winters celebrates Grand Opening

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

Support Local Journalism


Community members, investors, owners and staff gathered on Saturday, Jan. 11 to celebrate the Hotel Winters Grand Opening. Although many attendees found out they forgot to RVSP, Hotel Winters administrators Guysell Geter, general manager, and Alan Barmaper, a managing partner of Hotel Winters, were stil accommodating and welcoming. The private event, held in the Orchard Ballroom, offered attendees an exclusive tasting menu from Carboni’s Ristorante featuring bite-sized hors d’oeuvres and homemade pizza. Executive Chef Stephen Pryor said he wants to use food from the area and put a spin on classic Italian foods. “The local food here is so great, why wouldn’t we use it,” said Pryor. “I would like to use a lot of the local farms, local providers and bring their food in here and show them what we can really do with it.” In opening an opening speech Mayor Bill Biasi said the hotel’s appearance fits in with downtown and paid homage to the developers and architects who designed it. Biasi said it has the looks of a historic building and it also has all of the modern conveniences as well. Biasi said the hotel is going to be an asset to Winters for years to come by providing much-needed lodging for visitors and offers a location to host conferences and events. Both of which help to support the local businesses and the local economy by attracting people to not only visit, but also stay. “This is a milestone in our city’s growth and our evolution as a destination place,” said Biasi. City Manager John W. Donlevy, Jr. reflected on the hard work and efforts of those who have been working on the Hotel Winters project since its inception in 2006 to its groundbreaking in 2017 and completion and opening in 2019. Donlevy said downtown Winters has always been the center of where the City wanted things to happen, and Hotel Winters was something that would drive the downtown economy. He recognized Charley Wallace and the Wallace family for their role in the hotel’s evolution noting that at the end of the day they were probably the biggest brick wall they had to come up against. Wallace held out, but eventually decided to sell his share of property-opening up the southeast corner of the hotel lot for development. In an interview with the Express, Donlevy said he sees Express Publisher Emeretus Charley Wallace as the guy who saved town town. In addition to Wallace and his wife, Sherri, he also noted John Pickerel and his family, former mayor and current Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Economic Development and Housing Manager Dan Maguire and councilmember Harold Anderson as key players who helped bring the project to fruition. “This hotel is a tribute to some people who never gave up on this town,” Donlevy said. “There have been people who have been all-in for the community. For [Hotel Winters] to have vibrancy to this town, it’s a tribute to them.” Donlevy told the Express that Hotel Winters is valuable for those who live here because it provides jobs to community members, supports downtown businesses and serves as a connection center for visitors. He said the next project is to enhance upon the Paseo Path to create a direct pathway from Hotel Winters to downtown businesses. The City is also embarking on an Alley Activation Plan with downtown businesses whose backdoors face the hotel. Donlevy said the goal is for those businesses who have invested in Winters will create a back-end area to open an alleyway connection with the Hotel’s outdoor area. “Winters really is such a special place and we have this ability to show it off. The renaissance of downtown Winters isn’t over, it’s not even halfway. It’s very exciting,” Donlevy said. “The idea we have this quality of a place like this in our downtown—We’re the best quality. We really are the best.” Donlevy told the group that Aguiar-Curry was one who was passionate about the hotel project. “Cecilia seems like she’s super nice and lovely and everything, but she can go linebacker on your on various things,” Donlevy chuckled. Off the bat Aguiar-Curry took to the microphone saying it’s so easy to point fingers and be tough on someone. “I’m pretty tired of everybody being tough on John Donlevy because this guy has made our downtown vibrant,” Aguiar-Curry said. She tasked the Winters community to invite their friends and family members to come stay at the hotel when visiting to help ensure the success of the hotel and downtown Winters. She said not only will people get to stay here, but they’ll be given opportunity to experience the local food and the wonderful people of Winters. “It will take every single one of us to make this continue to be successful,” Aguiar-Curry said. Michael Olivas wears many hats at Hotel Winters and has put in over a decade of effort into the project. He serves as an investor, Managing Member for Hotel Winters LLC, an owner, developer for the project and majority investor in the Hotel Winters Restaurant Event Center. In his Grand Opening speech he said he would have laughed if someone had told him back in Sept. 2013 it would take him this long to get through this and create this thing. He referred to the experience as a long process when working to develop a project in California due to the jumps and hoops developers have to go through. He also shared more insight behind the creation of and challenges in the history of developing the project. Attendees were able to tour Hotel Winters rooms, the Carboni’s Ristorante dining area, Rooftop lounge and ZenTerra Spa. While the rooftop bar in Abbey’s Lounge and Carboni’s are not yet open to the public, Spa owner Sherean Maynard said the spa doors were open for the event so people could see the amenities. There are a few details still in the works, but the spa includes a Zen Room featuring foot soaking area and zero gravity reclining chairs. There are three rooms available for massages, and guests will also have an option to have spa services done in their hotel room.  Hotel Winters’ website and social media platforms are slated for updates as the operating group makes details available to the public.]]>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Article

Carboni's Ristorante soft opening delayed

Next Article

Simple exercises seniors can do daily to improve daily life

Related Posts