PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The building that housed the old Eastland Hotel will remain standing, but the inside is being gutted to make way for brand new, upscale accommodations.
Since we have a soft spot here for the Eastland since it is part of this station's roots. It was attached to the Congress Square Hotel, which gave us our call W-C-S-H.
So we took a tour to see how the makeover is going. We started in the basement where the hotels' original coal fired furnaces are still standing. No longer in use, they'll remain for historical purposes.
Speaking of history we made our way to the ballroom where everything from weddings to banquets to political gatherings were held.
The room is getting a massive makeover, but some of its old charm will be preserved. That's about the only thing the hotel's owners are keeping as they make the transition from the Eastland to the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. As we went up the floors it became clear they're not making just cosmetic changes, they're starting from scratch. Building a brand new hotel top to bottom.
The overhaul is necessary to compete in the increasingly competitive Portland hotel market. The number of rooms available in the city has doubled in the past 10-years. There are also 3 other new hotels currently under construction.
One thing the other hotels can't offer is perhaps the gem of this entire building.
For a lot of people it has become a special place in Portland.
There's no question when the new Westin opens people will come here for the view. The owners however are banking on them sticking around for an entire night, weekend or week.