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COMPETITION KEEN FOR THE BUSINESS SUITS

It's the battle for the businessman, the $21 million in total renovations spent in 1999 by two of the city's large hotels.

In one corner is the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, where last December the final phase of a $3 million face lift was completed. The project -- which included the installation of carpeting, wall coverings, drapes and fixtures in all 395 rooms and suites -- also added business work stations, ergonomic chairs, mattresses and other furnishings inside the Main Street hotel.

The Adam's Mark, meanwhile, has finished the initial phase of the largest hotel upgrade in city history, an $18 million project that included renovation of all 486 guest rooms and construction of a 4,000-square-foot glass-enclosed, weather-controlled lobby surrounded by newly planted shrubs and trees.

In 1998, the 15-year-old Hyatt completed a $300,000 renovation of its Grand Ballroom. In addition, Hyatt renovations in 1999 include the conversion of another floor of rooms to the chain's signature Business Plan accommodations including in-room fax machines, 24-hour access to printers and photocopiers, two-line telephones and modem links.

The Hyatt Meeting Concierge program, meanwhile, features a concierge who will verify meeting requirements and pre-inspect meeting rooms, according to General Manager Thomas R. Pagels.

The Adam's Mark, on the other hand, is working on the final phase of the expansion that will give the waterfront hotel 72,000 square feet of meeting space, according to Kevin Kuchta, director of advertising and marketing.

About 400 workers have spent the past year converting the hotel's third floor into a ballroom, foyer and exhibit hall. A floor that once housed the hotel's fitness center has been transformed into 39,000 square feet of meeting space featuring chandeliers, mirrors and artwork. There are also new break-out rooms to accommodate smaller gatherings.

The final phase of the Adam's Mark renovation includes construction of additional meeting space on the first floor, a new sports bar and a gift shop. The remaining work is scheduled to be completed by March 2000.

The modernization was launched shortly after the St. Louis-based Adam's Mark & Resorts purchased the former waterfront Hilton.

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