An official groundbreaking of the 613-room Austin Marriott Downtown took place on January 30 with White Lodging executives and city leaders. The hotel, located adjacent to the Austin Convention Center, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2020.
The full-service, 31-story Marriott is at the corner of Cesar Chavez and San Jacinto, and will offer views of the University of Texas campus, the State Capitol, and downtown Austin's skyline.
"This project will complement the existing JW Marriott Austin," said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO investments and development at White Lodging, referencing the White Lodging developed property which opened in 2015. "Together, these properties will provide a game-changing opportunity for the city, elevating its attractiveness for large meetings and conventions, which otherwise might not consider Austin."
Together, the two properties have more than 1,600 rooms and nearly 180,000 square feet of meeting space, which will be within two blocks of the convention center. There are only a handful of other cities in the country that offer this amount of rooms and meeting space in the heart of their city's centers, and an even smaller number that have one sales organization with direct sales impact over multiple hotels.
The Austin Marriott Downtown will have 64,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit, and entertainment space; three bars; and a street-level full-service restaurant. It will also feature an exhibit hall with floor-to-ceiling windows along a 170-foot glass wall.
The seventh-floor pool deck will feature private cabanas with ceiling fans, TV, and private waiters, plus private seating areas with individual fire pits. The M Club will have its own private outdoor terrace for VIP guests.
Guests will also be able to keep their vehicles out of the elements in the self-contained 257-space underground parking garage.
Director of sales and marketing
During the groundbreaking, White Lodging also introduced the new director of sales and marketing for the Austin Marriott Downtown, Fernando Estala.
A 16-year veteran with Marriott International, Estala has held leadership roles at premier convention hotels including the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, New York Marquis, and Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC. Estala joined the White Lodging team in 2013, and most recently served as director of sales & marketing for the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
"Fernando is a respected and highly engaged sales leader with experience from Marriott's most prestigious convention hotels throughout the country," said Chris Anderson, senior vice president and chief revenue officer of full service at White Lodging.
"His strong reputation in the industry, and among meeting planners, makes him the perfect fit to lead the newest lifestyle generation of Marriott Convention Hotels."
Source: White Lodging