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Expenditures for modernization in 1958 amounted
to $4,829,073, down sharply from the $7,644,055
expended the previous year. The decline was occasioned by the completion, in 1957, of several major
capital programs, such as installation of air conditioning in a number of the larger Hilton hotels.
However, improvement to Hilton properties is a
never-ending process. Thus, programs of varying
degrees of complexity were completed, or undertaken, at a large number of hotels during 1958.
The improvements ranged from the building of a
new marquee and canopy at The Shamrock Hilton
in Houston to the completion, at The Beverly
Hilton, of the spectacular new International Ballroom, the largest in the West, with a seating capacity accommodating 1,700 guests.
A contract was signed to install an automatic
dial telephone system in all 2,230 Palmer House
guest rooms. The system is patterned after that in
service at The Waldorf-Astoria and at The Queen
Elizabeth. It will enable guests to dial direct to all
other Palmer House phones, all local Chicago
phones, and about 100 suburban communities,
without going through the hotel switch board.
Electronic counters will automatically record these
calls for billing. Another feature of the system is a
light on the instrument to indicate if any messages
have been received during a guest's absence.
The San Antonio Hilton Hotel completed alterations and revisions to its ground floor in 1958, and
in January, 1959, opened a ballroom with banquet
and luncheon facilities for 1,500 persons. The first
floor area includes, in addition to a fresh new lobby,
the private membership Alamo Club and the adjoining Grill Room, which seats 308 guests. The
new Hilton Steak House overlooks the recently-
completed swimming pool. Two other restaurants,
The Coffee House and The Night Owl, were also
remodeled. The latter is open twenty-four hours
daily for guest convenience.
A fourth "Trader Vic's" restaurant was opened
in The Savoy Hilton in April. It is similar to those
already in operation in The Beverly Hilton, The
Palmer House, and The Habana Hilton. This outstandingly successful restaurant comfortably seats
over 500, and boasts two private dining rooms—
The Admiral's Cabin, and The Pukka.
Other noteworthy improvements made during
the year included the opening, by the Albuquerque
Hilton Hotel, of "El Seville," a smart new restaurant, and the completion of a luxurious new presidential suite at The Savoy Hilton. The King's Bar,
and a new coffee-and-snack room, replaced two
shops in the Los Angeles Statler Hilton, providing a
substantial increase over revenues formerly received
from this space. The Beverly Hilton, in addition to
the spacious new International Ballroom, added
the Town and Country restaurant, which was constructed in space made available under the ballroom.
MODERNIZATION AND MAINTENANCE
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