HOUSTON – Boosted by the 2017 Super Bowl, the new 1000-room Marriott Marquis Houston, which will open next year, has booked almost 200,000 room-nights, a phenomenal amount of advance business, a hotel executive says.
The downtown hotel, which will be linked by skybridge to the convention center, has booked a sizable number of rooms for the Super Bowl. But the 200,000 rooms represents a lot more than just Super Bowl business, said Jay Marsella, director of sales and marketing for the downtown hotel.
A lot of groups are coming to the Marriott after the Super Bowl is long gone. (Super Bowl Ll will be played in Houston on Feb. 5, 2017.)
Initial guests at the Marriott Marquis hotel are expected to check-in in September 2016 with room rates in excess of $200 a night.
The hotel’s group and convention business will start arriving in 2017, says Marsella, who expects occupancy rates of 68 percent in the first year and over 70 percent thereafter.
Houston-based RIDA Development is developing the $370 million hotel in conjunction with the Houston First Corp., a quasi-public agency that oversees that convention center and other public projects. RIDA has major convention hotels in Orlando.
A number of other improvements are under construction at the George R. Brown Convention Center, including the addition of several restaurants and a new 100,000 square-foot office building to house several agencies and associations, including the Greater Houston Partnership.
The wide street, Avenidas De Las Americas, which separates the convention center from Discover Green park, is being reduced to two lanes to be more pedestrian friendly. Smart move.
Downtown Houston is getting a lot of new hotels, which are under construction now: a 215-room Holiday Inn in the old Savoy Hotel building; a 223-room Hotel Alessandra by Midway and Valencia Group; the Aloft hotel being put in the historic Stowers building by Bill Franks; and two new hotels by Nick Massad: a 168-room Hampton Inn and a 132-suite Homewood Suites.
There’s been a lot of gloomy stuff reported about the Houston hotel business lately. And it’s true that Energy Corridor hotels are in for some tough sledding.
But don’t expect to hear anything downbeat from Jay Marsella and folks at the Marriott Marquis. They are off to a fast start with their new hotel.
Don’t blink. The impossible dream is about to come true. Houston is moving into the big leagues of the convention business. The Marriott Marquis just proved it.