Merced County Times Newspaper
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‘The Tioga’ sign returns to mark downtown revival

A crane lowers the ‘The’ onto a sign for the new Tioga apartments in Downtown Merced.
A postcard image showing the original Hotel Tioga sign.

You can say it’s a sign of the times. 

And something to welcome in the New Year. 

Local residents and travelers on Highway 99 are seeing what used to be a familiar sight atop the historic Hotel Tioga — a giant sign high above downtown Merced. 

Many will recall the old sign that lit up Main Street nights for decades.

The new sign is a bit different, but designed with the same “flavor” of the previous landmark, one city official said. The old sign used the words “Hotel Tioga,” whereas the new sign just says “The Tioga.”

In recent months, Hotel Tioga Investors LLC has been renovating the Tioga into modern apartments to target professionals in this growing university city.

It’s just one example of a radical transformation going on in Downtown Merced. Two other historic landmarks — the El Capitan Hotel and the Mainzer Theatre — are also being refurbished.

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