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Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center / Radisson Hotel Columbia & Conference Center, 2100 Bush River Road: 2000s/June 2011   12 comments

Posted at 1:58 am in Uncategorized

When the The Sheraton on Bush River opened, it was a big deal, and for many years it was certainly an impressive landmark designating the edge of town as you came in from Georgia on I-20. (Now of course the metro area sprawls out past the Lexington exits). Of course since I actually lived in Columbia, I never found a reason to stay at the hotel, and even to visit the restaurant would have been a long drive from Forest Acres, but I always imagined it as a "swanky" place. Thinking about it as an adult, I'm not sure I really understand the concept. It's been my experience in going to conferences that conference hotels are normally built in a downtown, or at least fairly dense suburban area such that there are restaurants and nightclubs for the attendees to go to in the evenings, especially those who took taxis from the airport and want something within walking distance. That pretty much describes exactly the opposite of this spot.. Columbia as a conference destination is a pretty hard sell anyway, but this isn't exactly The Vista (which granted didn't exist as such in the 70s, but there certainly were spots with nightlife..).

Anyway, The Sheraton operated as such until, I believe, the early 2000s. Certainly it still did in 1996 when they would have bought the ad for the February 1997 phonebook pictured here. After that, the hotel reflagged and was operated as a Radisson as shown in this year's (February 2011) phonebook until June. The new flagging is for DoubleTree by Hilton, a brand that I can't really place on the hotel ladder. I'm guessing they don't have a Dance Factory.

(Hat tip to commenter Tom)

UPDATE 11 July 2011 -- Originally I led with this drawing, which I believed was the Sheraton on Bush River, but it appears instead to be another ex-Sheraton, on Assembly Street. I have edited the text claiming that, and moved the picture down here for those who already saw it and commented on it:

Written by ted on July 11th, 2011

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12 Responses to 'Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center / Radisson Hotel Columbia & Conference Center, 2100 Bush River Road: 2000s/June 2011'

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  1. That illustration on the top looks more like the old Sheraton/Holiday Inn on Asembly than the I-20 one. BTW, the USC football team used to spend Friday nights here before home football games.


    11 Jul 11 at 8:36 am

  2. Looks that way to me, too, Tom.


    11 Jul 11 at 8:39 am

  3. Doubletree officially positions itself as an upscale, full-service hotel; the ones I've spent nights at are popular with the conference/convention crowd and host those kinds of functions. It's definitely swankier than a Hampton Inn but not the top of the Hilton food chain; I guess I'd call it "more affordable upscale." And I'm a sucker for the warm chocolate-chip cookie you get at check-in.

    Several years ago I attended a function when this was the Radisson, and from that experience I can see this location fitting pretty easily into the Doubletree portfolio. The location is a bit out of the way, but it seemed like a nice hotel.

    Alaska Jill

    11 Jul 11 at 9:08 am

  4. @Tom & Tonkatoy -- not a good week for me and things in that block then!


    11 Jul 11 at 10:09 am

  5. Tom is right, the USC team did stay there. I worked maintenance there for a while in the '90s. Saw some crazy stuff. Bert Pooser's corporation (can't remember the name, ISC maybe) also owned the big hotel(again with the memory, the one with the shag show) out in Richland NE and the visiting team stayed there. What was the name of that hotel.


    12 Jul 11 at 12:03 am

  6. @JBL that motel was the Ramada on I-77 and US 1 which is now a Holiday Inn, not to be confused with the old Hoiliday Inn which is now the Ramada at I-20 & US 1!


    12 Jul 11 at 8:21 am

  7. My senior prom was held in the ball room of this Sheraton. Ahhh memories....


    13 Jul 11 at 11:52 am

  8. Thanks, Tom. Does Bert Pooser still own all those hotels across the southeast?


    13 Jul 11 at 10:37 pm

  9. My Irmo high school graduation lunch was at Andrews in the Sheraton in 1993. It seemed to be a pretty swank place at the time. The lobby with the waterfall and the indoor pool was pretty nice. I was just passing by there on bush river rd this weekend and wondered if that hotel was even still open.


    18 Jul 11 at 7:55 pm

  10. I worked as a DJ at Saints in the mid 80"s. Friday and Saturday nights there would be a line to get in. Great Place.


    18 Dec 12 at 1:09 pm

  11. All of these pics are of the old Sheraton/Radisson and now DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center. It is still there and in operation. It is one of the older hotels in the area and needs work but still a nice convenient location for functions. The restaurant and bar was a great hangout place in the 90s & early 2000. There have been 2 or 3 hotels built next to and across the street from it.


    19 Sep 19 at 4:26 pm

  12. Yes, the building is still there. I was noting a re-flagging.


    22 Sep 19 at 10:43 pm

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