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Arts and Entertainment

A Sneak Peek At The Queen Mary's Upcoming Renovations

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L.A.-based real estate firm Urban Commons acquired a 66-year master lease of the historic Queen Mary in April, and have since announced their plans to not only renovate the entire ship itself, but to also build an entertainment district around the boat. On board, we can expect a $15 million renovation that will include all 346 hotel rooms, the nine suites, and the public areas of the vessel. Work will begin in the next few months and should be complete by mid-2017. The work will be done in sections, meaning that at no time will Queen Mary be closed off to the public.

The plan is to keep the renovations consistent with the ship's original Art Deco design, according to a release from Urban Commons. Hotel rooms will get updated furniture, showers, lighting and TVs, as well as better WiFi. Urban Commons also plans to work with Brintons, the British carpet company who originally supplied the ship's carpet back in the 1930s. According to the L.A. Times, Brintons will work with Urban Commons to bring back patterns from the time period.

Other plans include adding either a speakeasy or a live music venue to the ship's boiler room, as well as entertainment options such as shuffleboard or a movie theater to the rear deck. The swanky Observation Bar will also be updated, and seating will be added to the deck area. Entertainment-wise, they plan to add more live music to the Observation Bar. However, these plans still need have to be solidified with the city of Long Beach.

"Our goal is to channel a new aura of regal elegance while maintaining the ship's cherished historic elements," Urban Commons Principal Taylor Woods said in a statement. "We intend to stay true to the original Art Deco design of the ship by working with various manufacturers to emulate and modernize different patterns, designs and furniture. Through this process, we will work closely with the ship's historical advisor to ensure we meet certain historical requirements."

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Renovations will not increase the price of the hotel, where rooms are currently about $175 a night, but Woods did tell the Times that prices may go up if demand increases.

The second phase of renovations will involve developing 45 acres of land surrounding the ship. Plans may include another hotel, shops, restaurants, carnival rides, an amphitheater and a marina.

As you may know, some folks like to believe that the Queen Mary is not only a historic vessel, but a haunted one. To that end, Queen Mary has already begun to announce its plan for Dark Harbor, their annual Halloween event. They plan on bringing back several classic Halloween mazes, as well as introducing a new one called Intrepid that explores the history of Iron Master, a mysterious spirit that protects the ship. Dark Harbor begins on September 29 and tickets are available now.

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