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Aug. 08--Workers move in furniture Tuesday at the Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

Turtle Bay Exploration Park officials have said they want to open the new Sheraton hotel this year, and they still hope to do so.

But the website (www.sheratonredding.com) for Redding's first four-star hotel states: "Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge -- Opening Early 2018."

"We are being conservative, but I will tell you we are hoping in November," Turtle Bay CEO Mike Warren said Tuesday.

Warren said delays with construction of Mosaic, the hotel's restaurant, are among the reasons why opening next year is more likely.

"The restaurant is taking a little bit longer," Warren said. "We have an architect down in San Diego that was used for the restaurant and he was a little bit behind in getting plans into us and the city."

Construction on the hotel started in late 2015 after years of planning, capped by a voter-passed referendum in November 2014 that approved the city's sale of 14 acres to McConnell Foundation for $600,000, clearing a path for the Sheraton.

More: Sheraton Hotel expected to add 70 jobs to economy

The three-story, 130-room hotel will include six suites, a 4,000-square-foot ballroom, a pool and outdoor Jacuzzi. Mosaic will have a full bar and occupy the former Turtle Bay Visitor Center.

All rooms on the ground floor facing west toward the Redding Civic Auditorium will have sliding glass doors and patios.

The Sheraton also will feature the Santiago Terrace, named after Sundial Bridge architect Santiago Calatrava. The area will sport two fire pits where families can gather and roast marshmallows. Turtle Bay will offer s'mores kits.

Sheraton General Manager Lindsay Myers said they are seeing strong interest in reserving rooms for popular events like Kool April Nites and the Freedom Festival on July 4.

Customers right now cannot make a reservation earlier than Feb. 6 on the website.

"The closer we get to opening, we can move that date," Myers said.

Myers expects to have all employees hired about a month before the opening. The hotel will have 70 to 80 full- and part-time employees, and Myers said about half will be full-timers.

The hotel has yet to hire the executive chef for the restaurant.

Turtle Bay is financing the project with an $11 million loan from Tri Counties Bank, and $3.3 million each from the McConnell Foundation and KBK Foundation in San Francisco. The balance is coming from the park's endowment fund.

Azul Hospitality Group will run the Sheraton in Redding. The company operates one other Sheraton, in Carlsbad, which adjoins Legoland theme park.

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