Building renovation is nothing new; humans have been doing it for thousands of years, mainly because it is a necessity. Hospitals, hotels, restaurants, homes and apartments; they can all become outdated and inefficient, either aesthetically or functionally. And because my company, PCG Contractors, specializes in renovations, I understand the importance of the process. Whether a building needs to be brought up to code or given a fresh coat of paint, renovations have become a necessary part of buildings, and their owners, staying modern.
With that said, I thought it would be interesting to look through some of the more impressive or extravagant renovations throughout history.
Hyatt Regency, New Orleans
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, it left tragedy and destruction in its wake. As one of the worst hurricanes to hit American soil, Hurricane Katrina claimed the lives of 1,836 people and caused $81 billion in property damage. It should come as no surprise that major renovations were crucial for the city of New Orleans. The Hyatt Regency was one of the last hotels to reopen after the hurricane. After being closed for six years, the Regency was renovated with new windows, brand new rooms, enlarged meeting/conference rooms, and even a brand new, lavish vestibule. All of this totaled a whopping $275 million. A beautiful hotel inside and out, the Regency’s comeback is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of The Big Easy.
MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Opened in 1993, the MGM Grand quickly became a staple of the glimmering Las Vegas skyline. Beloved by everyday citizens and celebrities alike, the MGM Grand has seen renovations in the past, mainly in 1999 and between 2000-2003. While those were minor improvements, this latest renovation, which occurred in 2012, saw some major changes—it has even been dubbed the “Grand Renovation.” The renovation saw the removal of tried and true fan favorites, the Lion Habitat and Studio 54, and the remodeling of 4,200 rooms. LED lights, updated thermostats, showers and solar shades were also included in the update, which came to an estimated $160 million. Technically speaking, MGM has spent even more on the renovation, but has yet to disclose that information, and considering that this renovation took place five years ago, I doubt we will ever see those numbers.
International Space Station
The third and final entry in the list is a bit different than the others in the fact that it is not technically on Earth. However, I felt that it must be included on the list anyways, considering its massive renovation price tag. With an estimated cost of $100 billion, this renovation is certainly worthy of mentioning. Currently, the space station can accommodate six crew members, but NASA is looking to up that number to seven. Both Boeing and SpaceX are working on space capsules that can transport seven crew members safely from the station, which is an expensive undertaking. Throw in the ‘08 renovations that expanded the space station’s occupancy limit from three to six, and the necessary renovations that would be required to accommodate a seventh member on the space station itself, and the ISS is certainly one of the costliest renovations in history.