Downtown Fresno's Sky-High View

Fresno, CA, USA It offers an unfamiliar view of the city to the uninitiated. If you have lived in Fresno for quite a while you may remember it. You'll find it at the Holiday Inn across from the Fresno County Courthouse where Robert Van Orden is the hotel's General Manager, "It gives us something very unique to expose our guests too".

When the Holiday Inn opened in late May of 2008 it had been operated by a number of owners and carried a number of names in its 36 year history. During part of that time the hotel's event room on the top floor fell behind the times and was closed for years. At one time it was the place to see and be seen after dark. You'll find it 9 floors above the lobby.

The draw was the nightlife, the music and being able to go outside and look at this view that made the Sky Room so popular in its hay-day. The current management is convinced it can do that again so it kept the name: The Sky Room.

In the light of today the newly renovated and updated room welcomes groups like the Fresno Advertising Federation to meet and eat here. First timer to the Sky Room, Tracy Lifer, of the business journal is impressed, "I've never seen the city from this angle before."

Laura coquillette is very familiar with this place. She once bartended here loves the view and it's potential to draw people downtown, "It's kind of a walk down memory lane for me. I actually was a bartender here for a couple of years. I think this just takes it one step closer to downtown revitalization there are so many other things happening and this is just one of many."

When the hotel first opened in 1972 it was the Hilton Hotel and the one of kind Sky Room was always full. Its new management hopes it will be again "Robert van Orden, general manager. We're going to be very selective about the type of music we will play, the type of clientele we'll be inviting in."

Until a problem with the dance floor is resolved it is a banquets-only venue. But when the past catches up with the present, the stars will come out over the Sky Room.

I've seen those stars from that vantage point, back in the day. With any luck you can too sometime before 2008 rolls over into 2009.


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