Over 200 people gathered today on the top level of the Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel to attend the project’s official “topping out” ceremony celebrating the superb efforts of the hotel’s contractors as well as the vision of CNL Hospitality Corp. and Marriott International. Just a “stone’s throw” away from downtown’s Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound, the 358-room hotel will be distinguished as downtown Seattle’s first full-service Marriott hotel and just the second hotel to boast an enviable address on the downtown waterfront when it opens May 2003. Marriott International, Inc. will manage the property for an affiliate of CNL Hospitality Corp.
The ceremony which was attended by local community and business leaders, including Port of Seattle Chief Executive Officer Mic Dinsmore, Seattle Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President Steve Morris, Columbia Hospitality President John Oppenheimer and Marriott International Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing Steve Heitzner, marked another integral step in the on-time construction of the $80 million dollar property. The “topping out” ceremony is a building industry tradition based on a 1,300-year-old Scandinavian custom of crowning newly completed structures with an evergreen tree to assure good luck for the project. In modern days, the ceremony is held when the last, uppermost pieces of structural steel or concrete columns are put in place, marking the mid-point of construction for the project. To commemorate this milestone, the ceremony was a “hard hat affair,” taking place on the top level of the construction site allowing guests to be among the first to view the spectacular waterfront Puget Sound views the hotel will offer.
As only the second waterfront hotel to be built along Seattle’s newly re-developed central waterfront district, the Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel is truly one of the most highly-anticipated developments in downtown Seattle.
The eight-story hotel will occupy one of the most sought-after spots on the waterfront between Piers 62/63 and 66, and be within easy walking distance to downtown Seattle’s shopping and financial areas; the Belltown quarter, a bustling mecca for the city’s hottest restaurants and bars; and major attractions including Pike Place Market, the Seattle Aquarium, the Space Needle and Seattle Center.
“The Seattle Marriott Waterfront will be an exciting addition to the city`s offerings and will further enhance one of the country`s most dynamic downtown hotel and meeting markets,” said Steve Morris, president of Seattle’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. “The development of this new property can only add to the vitality of Seattle`s $3.6 billion tourism industry and its promise of future growth.”
Additionally, with its prominent location directly across from the 78,000-square-foot Bell Harbor International Conference Center, the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel will also supply a unique meetings venue not currently available in Seattle. The hotel will offer an additional 11,000 square feet of meeting space accommodating groups from 10 to 700. Each of the hotel’s eleven meeting rooms, including an 8,226-square-foot Grand Ballroom, an executive boardroom, and two conference/hospitality suites featuring spectacular views, will provide state-of-the-art technology with high-speed Internet access. The hotel will also be the first hotel in Seattle to provide wireless capability in most of the hotel’s public areas.
“The Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel will play a pivotal role in the development of the waterfront community,” said John Oppenheimer, president of Columbia Hospitality which operates the Bell Harbor International Conference Center and the adjoining World Trade Center Seattle. “We are excited they will be our next door neighbor and look forward to working with them to better serve not just the clients of Bell Harbor and World Trade Center Seattle, but Marriott`s guests as well.”
After a busy day of meetings or non-stop sightseeing, guests will enjoy relaxing in any of the hotel’s 358 elegantly appointed guest rooms, all of which will overlook Elliott Bay and provide commanding views of the Puget Sound, Olympic Mountain range and spectacular Northwest sunsets (approximately fifty percent of the guest rooms will also feature private balconies). Each guest room will incorporate Marriott’s newest guest room design offering “residential elegance,” complete with two dual-line phones with high-speed Internet access; in-room refreshment center; hairdryer; iron and ironing board; cable television with in-room movies; large work desk with task lamp; and Marriott’s signature “Sleep Well Bed” complete with a seven-inch quilted top mattress, down comforter and feather pillows. The hotel will also offer a 1,200-square-foot Presidential Suite offering unparalleled waterfront views from the seventh floor and a concierge floor providing a private lounge and check-in/check-out area.
The Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel will also become home to one of todays most renowned and illustrious restaurateurs who will provide a one-of-a-kind dining experience for visitors and locals alike. Award-winning Chef Todd English recently unveiled plans to open up the Fish Club, an upscale seafood establishment destined to become one of Seattle’s preeminent restaurants. Todd English is internationally known for developing “hot” new restaurant concepts serving culinary inspirations including the acclaimed Olives, King Fish Hall, Rustic Kitchen, Tuscany, Bonfire and Figs restaurants. English and his restaurants have received numerous accolades including Bon Apetit’s 2001 Restaurateur of the Year and People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Other hotel facilities will include a lobby bar, the “Quench” coffee bar, a restaurant bar, concierge service, a full-service business center, comprehensive fitness center, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool, and 24-hour room service.
From the lobby and its public spaces to each of the hotel’s 358 guest rooms, the overall design of the Seattle Marriott Waterfront will derive inspiration from the natural elements surrounding the building: water, light and the sky. Expanses of natural stone, accent walls of colorful glass mosaic tiles, an Italian glass chandelier and a grand staircase with an “art glass” element are just a few creative touches being planned for the hotel’s interior spaces. Equal attention will be placed on the hotel’s exterior design to properly highlight its magnificent waterfront location. The contemporary architectural design of the building’s exterior will boast polished pre-cast concrete and natural stone on the walls with the colors and materials carefully chosen by taking cues from nearby maritime features. The hotel has also commissioned Laura Haddad, a well-known local artist, to provide a one-of-a-kind rooftop design incorporating colored concrete pavers and recycled glass pavers. The design will mimic the water view visible from the hotel as well as incorporate an illusion of courtyard gardens on the lower-level roofs. The end result will truly be a sight to behold and will further distinguish the Seattle Marriott Waterfront hotel and its unique location from all the rest.
“Marriott is thrilled to be partnering with CNL Hospitality Corp. to bring downtown Seattle’s first full-service Marriott hotel and the city’s second waterfront hotel to life,” commented Steve Heitzner, regional vice president of sales and marketing for Marriott International. “Its unique and convenient waterfront location next to the Bell Street International Conference Center will make this hotel an ideal choice for leisure, meeting and business travelers alike.”
CNL Hospitality Corp. is the hotel industry investment and development division of CNL Financial Group, Inc. To date, the company has acquired or has commitments to acquire interests in properties valued at nearly $1.8 billion, comprising 54 hotels in 21 states. In addition to the Seattle Marriott Waterfront project, the company has a commitment to acquire the 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Ariz., scheduled to open November 2002. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., CNL Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation`s largest, privately held real estate investment and finance companies. CNL Financial Group, Inc. and the entities it has formed or acquired have more than $5.3 billion in assets, representing more than 3,000 properties in 49 states. For additional information, visit www.cnlonline.com and follow the links to CNL Hospitality Corp.
For more information, contact the Seattle Marriott Waterfront’s pre-opening sales office at (206) 254-1213. For reservations, call the Marriott Worldwide Reservations Center at (800) 228-9290, or visit www.gowestmarriott.com/seattlemarriottwaterfront.