Marriott Opens North America’s Tallest Hotel
Tuesday January 7th, 2014 - 3:15PM PBAH
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NEW YORK—Marriott International and G Holdings today officially opened a dual-branded hotel in midtown Manhattan—Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn Central Park—the tallest single-use hotel in North America.
The 68-story building combines 378 Courtyard guestrooms and 261 Residence Inn suites. The $320-million property is built and owned by G Holdings and managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. The dual-branded hotel will provide employment for 160 associates in the New York area.
Prior to today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, called the dual-branded hotel “an extraordinary jewel.” Sorenson indicated that the timing of the opening comes as tourism in New York City is reaching all-time highs since the economic downturn. As one of the top travel destinations in the world, New York City welcomed 54.3 million visitors in 2013.
Branding two hotels within one structure has become a common strategy in the U.S. for Marriott International, according to Sorenson. “Both the Courtyard and Residence Inn brands are powerful,” said Sorenson. “I’m certain that either one of these brands would do just fine on their own.”
Harry Gross, president & CEO of G Holdings, brought the first Courtyard by Marriott to Times Square, in the center of Manhattan in 1998. “These new hotels, the Residence Inn Central Park and Courtyard by Marriott Central Park, are the most innovative hotels we’ve built to date,” Gross said. An advantage of owning a dual-branded hotel is having two reservation systems, he added.
Courtyard by Marriott/Residence Inn Central Park was the first hotel development in New York City to receive a construction loan from Wells Fargo following the start of the economic downturn in 2008. “At that time, no one would lend for new-build,” said Gross, who had a relationship with Wells Fargo for the past 20 years.
Gross initially purchased the site for the hotels in 2001 for $32 million. Because of the location of the property, the Average Daily Rate (ADR) for Courtyard is $300 or more while Residence Inn is $350 or more. Gross anticipates occupancy levels for the hotels to reach more than 90%.
The hotels offer valet parking and share 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space within seven rooms, a fitness center located on the 35th floor with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor sundeck. Some guestrooms also feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Central Park, Times Square and the Hudson River.
Throughout the property is original artwork, which includes sculptures and full wall murals by abstract expressionist artist, William DeBilzan. The artwork traverses five floors of the hotel and is inspired by New York City, as well as themes of love and life.
The hotel is located in between Central Park and Times Square and offers guests convenient access to Carnegie Hall, the Broadway Theater District, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.
Tags: Marriott • Courtyard • Residence Inn • Hospitality • Amenities • Brands • Ownership • Openings •
When you hear all the lodging industry projections for the months and years to come, much of the robust growth is forecast to be the result of the expected influx of travelers from China. In what could only be seen as good news for the industry, that expectation moved a little closer to reality when President Obama signed a visa waiver extension for Chinese travelers earlier this month.