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Omni San Diego Completes $30M Renovation

HOSPITALITY: New Baseball Theme Highlights History with Petco Park

SAN DIEGO – The Omni San Diego has completed a more than $30 million renovation inspired by the hotel’s proximity to Petco Park with a baseball theme and its connection to the San Diego Padres.

Opened the same year as Petco Park at 675 L St. in 2004, the 32-story hotel was renovated to mark its 20th anniversary, the 20th anniversary of Petco Park, and to rekindle the excitement of returning guests, said General Manager Charles Cho.

Charles Cho
General Manager
Omni San Diego

“We thought it was the right year and right time to completely renovate the property and bring something new to our guests,” Cho said. “We have a lot of repeat guests. If there’s no change every time they come, sooner or later, it doesn’t get exciting anymore. There always has to be some changes as years go by.”

With a design led by Jeffrey Beers International design studio based in New York, Cho said that playing up the connection to the Padres was natural, partly because the hotel is physically connected to the adjacent ballpark with a pedestrian bridge.

“We are the only hotel that connects to a major league ballpark in the United States,” Cho said.

That connection has always played a strong role in the hotel’s identity.

The presidential suite is named for former President Jimmy Carter because he threw the ball out on the opening day of Petco Park, and the second largest suite is named for Tony Gwynn, the Padres legendary home-town hitter.

Padres memorabilia is displayed throughout the hotel, including uniforms and baseball gloves that belonged to Padres standouts of the past, such as Trevor Hoffman and Dave Winfield.

An ‘Extreme Transformation’

Newly added as part of the renovation was the street-level Ace Porter restaurant with a cylindrical bar off the lobby. The restaurant opens to the outdoors and has an entrance separate from the lobby.

“The goal is to operate it not as a hotel restaurant and bar but almost like a stand-alone one as well,” Cho said.

The name, Ace Porter, is a takeoff of the word ace, as in the best player on a sports team, and porter, as in server, like the wait staff of a restaurant, Cho said.

In keeping with the baseball theme, the wallpaper has pinstripes like those in a team uniform, furniture designed to resemble baseball gloves, tables made of the same materials as baseball bats, and a color palette that mixes the Padres colors of bronze and gold with the green of a ballfield.

The reimagined Tortuga pool bar and terrace on the sixth floor was designed with natural materials and neutral tones, palm tree planters, and a trellis.

“We did have a pool bar up there, but it was on the interior side and very small. We completely gutted that and brought the bar to the terrace areas, so it’s a complete outdoor pool,” Cho said. “Tortuga kind of has two sides to it. During the daytime, before sunset, it becomes that resort, pool bar area where you hang out and as the sun sets, it forms the traditional rooftop bar overlooking the water.”

Tortuga means turtle in Spanish, so Tortuga is done in shades of green and tan, like a turtle on the sand, with a touch of yellow and brown in a nod to the Padres.

The 511 guest rooms were gutted, down to the concrete wall.

“Every single thing in the guest room is brand new,” Cho said, including light fixtures to resemble stadium lights.

So extensive was the renovation that Cho said he considers it more of an “extreme transformation.”

“It’s a drastic change from what it was. It was great before, and I’m not saying that this is greater, but it’s a very new theme,” Cho said.

Cho said that about 300,000 people stay in the hotel annually, and the demographic has changed since the COVID pandemic to what Cho called a business/leisure traveler, “meaning every business trip has a leisure component to it.”

Omni San Diego
OPENED: 2004
GENERAL MANAGER: Charles Cho
BUSINESS: hotel
EMPLOYEES: 250
WEBSITE: www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego
CONTACT: (619) 231-6664
NOTABLE: Omni San Diego hotel is the only hotel in the U.S. connected to a major league stadium

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