trueicon wrote:I don't understand putting this particular hotel in Uptown instead of Downtown. The type of client that books at a full service Marriott hotel is (generally speaking) a business traveler who (presumably) is traveling for a convention. The problem is that the convention center (downtown) is not walking distance. It would make far more sense to make this one of Marriott's other brands - like Courtyard by Marriott or AC Hotel - which target a more rounded mixture of business and leisure customers. This hotel is positioned far better to attract leisure travel business, where the proximity to Uptown's many restaurants and bars is indeed a big marketing feature.
This is a major pet peeve of me. The Hilton Anatole is another example of this poorly thought out anti-Urban planning by hotel operators who place their flagship full service hotel farther out from the CBD, which of course contributes to sprawl, pollution, etc. Business travelers = CBD. When major conventions -- the bread and butter of full service hotels -- shop around different cities, they want a collection of full service hotels all walkable from each other and from the convention center. We all love development, but what we really love is the right type of development. I think folks are underestimating how much of a negative this will be for all the progress in our urban core. Two steps forward, one step backwards I suppose.
Marriott got it backwards. If you put the full service Marriott where the soon to open downtown Courtyard by Marriott (or the recently opened AC hotel) is, and you put the Courtyard by Marriott (or the AC hotel) here, it makes FAR more sense. All they need to do is change the signs and I'll collect my consulting fee.
As far as brand representation goes, I'm not sure why none of Marriott's select-service brands (including Courtyard) aren't in Uptown yet, other than how much the land costs. As for having 2 Marriott locations so close together, I'm not sure about that either. There really isn't anything, though (I don't think), stopping the DTD City Center/Plaza of the Americas property from eventually becoming a JW Marriott, if the owners (or Marriott) want. I guess whoever the owner/franchisee of the DTD Courtyard is, they like doing select-service properties. Also, the lot that the Courtyard will be on, really wouldn't be big enough for a full-service hotel property IMO. They'd need the whole block at least. And now that Marriott has acquired Starwood, they have a LOT more brand representation in/near DTD than ever. With the DTD Courtyard upcoming, and the recently-added TownePlace & Fairfield at Butler Brothers, there will be 13 hotels with a Marriott brand in that area before the Uptown Marriott even opens.