San Diego-based stagecoach company, Limited Imperial Valley Stage Line, changes its name to the Pickwick Stage Lines and moves its station to the lobby of the old Pickwick Theater on the east side of Fourth Street, north of Broadway.
Another Pickwick Hotel opens its doors in San Diego at First and Broadway in May. The first hotel in San Diego to be built with “en suite” bathrooms, its marketing slogan was “A Room and a Bath for Two and a Half.”
Under the Pickwick ownership, the station uses a variety of slogans to promote their identity. Among those KGB uses during this time are “The Voice of Sunny San Diego”. Pickwick broadcasting Corporation later formed a three-station chain including KNRC in Los Angeles and KTAB in San Francisco.
Downtown is changing and the bus operation expands to occupy both ground floor corners of The Pickwick Hotel. Also at this time, the San Diego City Council requires that decorative architectural elements be removed from all buildings to prevent potential injury and casualty during an earthquake.
1950 – 2000
1956-1986 Downtown San Diego is losing its popularity as a retail and entertainment destination as these types of venues begin to move elsewhere in the city. Under a new operator with a 30-year lease, the Pickwick Hotel begins to show signs of age.
1986 Ken Winslow and Harki Parekh, co-general partners of Pickwick Partners, Ltd., purchase the Pickwick Hotel and their partnership assumes management of the property.
1986-2000 Pickwick Partners, Ltd. systematically undertakes renovations of the property to slowly bring the hotel back into repair. The process takes years as hotel earnings are funneled back into the property.
2000 – Present
2000-2004 San Diego Padres’ Petco Park, is excavated, constructed, and opened; and thousands of residential condominiums are built, sold and occupied ushering in a boom of downtown revitalization. Retailers, restauranteurs and commercial builders pour back into downtown neighborhoods, bringing an exciting period of much-needed stabilization to downtown San Diego.
2005 After 20 years of ownership, Pickwick Partners sees the right opportunity to renovate the hotel, which inevitably contributes to the revitalization of downtown’s West End neighborhood. With the hotel’s distinctly urban configuration and a growing appreciation in hospitality for chic boutique properties and individually tailored guest services, the hotel’s owners begin a major $16 million renovation.
2006 On January 16 renovations begin and the Pickwick Hotel closes. A grand re-opening is planned for December 2006 as The Sofia Hotel.