SEBRING — A new coat of blue paint is not the only thing new at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center overlooking Sebring International Raceway.
IMSA Properties and Shaner Hotel Group announced recently that the Château Élan is currently undergoing rebranding and will be operating as ‘Seven - Sebring Raceway Hotel’ by March.
This rebranding will come just in time for guests and fans as they descend on central Florida for a weekend of racing as IMSA and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) run world-class sports car races on the iconic raceway during the March 13–17 race week.
Highlands News-Sun asked a few Sebring residents what they thought of the new name and what they believed the "Seven" signified?
Roy Loweke said he has attended some of the shows at the Chateau Elan and has been to three of the 12 Hours of Sebring races.
"What is the seven for?" he asked. "Sebring Raceway Hotel that sounds good, but what is the seven?"
To provide a hint, Highlands News-Sun noted the hotel is located near the racetrack.
"By the curve, yes," Loweke responded.
Highlands News-Sun: Do you know which curve?
"Curve 7," Loweke replied.
News-Sun: Do you know the name of the curve?
Loweke didn't know that Turn 7 is the Hairpin Turn.
Nyah Bonhomme said the new name sounds interesting, but not fancy anymore.
When you go there, it is beautiful. It is still nice though, she said.
Bonhomme couldn't guess what the "seven" meant and the hint of "Hairpin Turn" didn't help.
Jerry Neigh was also perplexed about the "seven" in the new name and couldn't provide an answer for the meaning.
"I am a race fan and I have been out there a few times, but I haven't been to any big races," he said. "I am more into dirt tracks, but I do like cars."
IMSA Properties Vice President Rick Humphrey explained, “As an independent property, the importance of the rebrand was necessary for us to showcase the property’s individuality. The brand makeover enables us to pay homage to the property’s history, allowing guests to truly experience the property’s racing background,”
The new brand look celebrates the hotel’s motorsport roots, as well as its high-speed future. With automotive highlights throughout its newly renovated spaces, the overall design is comfortable, yet classy. The hotel will be the ideal destination for guests looking for a genuine automotive adventure at a facility that is full of motorsports history, according to a press release.
“Whether a guest is here to race or to relax, Seven’s lively and sophisticated vibes will provide the perfect backdrop for ‘story-worthy’ experiences our guests crave,” said Brian Hockenbury, senior vice president of Operations-Full Service/Resort at Shaner Hotel Group.
The name “Seven” is inspired by where it is situated on the Sebring International Raceway circuit – Turn 7. Like a dependable friend, guests can and will always turn to Seven. The hotel will continue to be its guests’ second home as they return year after year.
Seven will feature 123 rooms, two restaurants (APEX and Sunrise at 7), a full-service bar, indoor/outdoor event space, a swimming pool, direct racetrack access, a fitness center and in-room dining.
The property will continue to be owned by IMSA Holdings and managed by Shaner Hotel Group, one of the hospitality industry’s leading owner-operators of full- and select-service hotels.