New name, big screen

Hotel rebranded, a plush patio, and lunch no longer

Memories … As odd as it sounds, I hold a fond sense of nostalgia for Chico’s Holiday Inn. The first time I came to Chico as a sophomore in high school, I stayed at the Manzanita Court hotel. My high school chapter of Future Farmers of America had traveled the six hours from Crescent City to attend a conference at Chico State, and the Holiday Inn was the accommodation choice for the event.

The last day of the conference, there was a dance for all attendees in the hotel’s ballroom, and I have a distinct memory of slow dancing to Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On” before walking with a group across the parking lot for a banana split at Denny’s. I felt so grown-up and sophisticated with my hotel keycard in the big city.

Sophistication hasn’t really been synonymous with Chico’s Holiday Inn, though, and over the years the image of our town’s Holiday Inn hasn’t kept up with my 15-year-old self’s grand opinion of the hotel.

As such, the chain hotel was recently rebranded as the Ramada Inn. When I called last week, after seeing new signs hanging over the Holiday Inn name, I was told it was the first day they had answered the phones as the Ramada.

The ownership remains the same. However, renovations are planned for the property.

Screen time I watched the Super Bowl at home this year, with no company. My grandparents instilled in me a strong love of John Elway and all things Denver Broncos, so the game was too important to me to be distracted by big groups and big screens.

But for those who wanted company and a gigantic view of the game, the Pour House had its enormous outdoor television ready for the occasion. The patio renovations aren’t fully complete yet, but the restaurant is now seating people on the improved patio to take in sporting events or music videos on the wall-size big screen.

Arrivederci, lunch Forcella celebrated its first year in business this month, but also announced that the eatery will no longer serve lunch. The Italian restaurant was one of my favorite go-to business lunch spots, and I loved stopping in for the soups midday. Thankfully, I can still get their killer homemade bread and pasta at dinner time. With the cancelation of lunch, Forcella is now opening an hour earlier at 4 p.m.