In three months, the Sleep Inn on North Tryon Street will be getting some guests from Louisiana. That state’s delegates will rent out 90 of the University City hotel's 120 rooms. The rest are booked by other Democratic National Convention visitors.
"We really wanted to put our best foot forward," said Sam Lucas, the general manager of the Sleep Inn. "We ended up redoing the hotel from top to bottom."
That means new carpet, furniture and a new lobby. The walls have been repainted, and there are new bathrooms and beds in the rooms.
"We've spent about $700,000," Lucas said.
There's still a little bit more to do. They plan to update the room numbers, repave the parking lot and put in a stone entrance.
"To make a good impression on your way into the hotel," Lucas said.
"We know we will have 1,100 delegates, and with delegates come additional people," said Mary Hopper with University City Partners.
Hopper said several local businesses are coming together to work on a training program for people working in the hotels and restaurants. They are hiring a tour company to get them ready. They want to train "ambassadors" so that when the visitors need to shop or want to eat, they do it in University City.
"They might enjoy the quiet of being outside the perimeter," Hopper said.
The hope is that the experience in September will make visitors remember University City when they think about their time in Charlotte.
"This will have a lasting effect beyond the four days the delegations are here," Hopper said.