LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hotel officials celebrated the grand opening of the 418-room Little Rock Marriott in downtown Little Rock, Ark., with a spectacular gala highlighting the hotel’s prominent place in the community. Headlined by the Arkansas Symphony with performances by local school bands, the Razorbacks tailgate themed event was hosted by Davidson Hotels & Resorts, which operates the hotel, and officials from Fairwood Capital, the hotel's owner.
The hotel also announced a charitable partnership with the Easter Seals. With funds provided by the Marriott Little Rock and Fairwood Capital, Easter Seals will facilitate an in-state college scholarship program. On July 4, 2015, the hotel will host the first of a series of events with the 2nd Annual 4th of July Extravaganza with a portion of those additional proceeds donated to the charity. General admission guests will be provided a “festival-style” experience that includes dinner, private access to Riverfront Park, the Riverview Room and Riverview Terrace. Casual seating is available in the Riverview Room and Terrace while dining. Admission includes dinner, live entertainment and fireworks overlooking the river.
“Today marks a new chapter in Arkansas’ lodging history as we welcome our state’s first and only full-service Marriott hotel to downtown Little Rock,” said Pat Lupsha, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Davidson. “With the completion of our multi-million renovation, the hotel is perfectly positioned to meet the growing needs of the area’s business and leisure travelers. The Marriott name is synonymous with hospitality, making it the perfect choice to usher in a new high-water mark for hospitality in our community.”
Attendees included Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe; Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola; Jim Kauffman, Marriott’s president of North America full-service hotels; Bob Solmson, CEO Fairwood Capital, John Belden, Davidson’s president and CEO; and Gretchen Hall, president and CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
To entertain gala guests, the Arkansas Symphony and Mabelvale School all gave moving musical performances. The evening concluded with an old fashioned “’Backs Tailgate” party, complete with trucks, photo booths, the Central High School Band and Cheerleaders and a replay of the “Game of the Century” 1969 Arkansas Razorbacks vs Texas Longhorns.
Mayor Mark Stodula spoke about the revitalization efforts of downtown. With the renovation of the Little Rock Marriott, it is expected that the hotel will increase traffic to downtown businesses and spur economic activity. The hotel provides a world class conference facility and hospitality destination making downtown a place for residents of Arkansas and others to visit and enjoy.
Situated in downtown Little Rock’s River Market district, the hotel is connected to the Statehouse Convention Center and is just minutes away from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library, the Verizon Arena, Old Statehouse Museum, local performing arts centers and the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport. The newly refurbished guest rooms provide complimentary wireless Internet service, a well-lit work area and 42-inch flat-screen television. The hotel also offers deluxe Club Level rooms, with views of the downtown skyline or the Arkansas River, an M Club Lounge, as well as 260,000 square feet of space and expert planning services. Heritage Grille, the property’s new restaurant featuring steak and seafood, has opened to great fanfare in Little Rock. Other hotel amenities include an expansive fitness center and The Café, a bistro featuring sandwiches, sweet treats and Starbucks coffee.
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs and their families live better lives for nearly 100 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities, address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals.
About Fairwood Capital
Fairwood Capital, LLC is a real estate investment firm focused on the acquisition, recapitalization, and repositioning of hospitality-related real estate and operating platforms. The company is backed by established institutional capital and pursues a value-oriented investment strategy.
About Marriott Hotels & Resort
Marriott Hotels & Resorts continues to inspire and provide a balanced life on the road for discerning and high-achieving business and leisure travelers, offering warm, professional service; sophisticated yet functional guest room design; lobby spaces that facilitate working, dining and socializing; restaurants and bars serving international cuisine prepared simply and from the freshest ingredients; meeting and event spaces and services that are gold standard; and expansive, 24-hour fitness facilities. All Marriott hotels participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards guest loyalty program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during stays. Join us on Marriott Hotels & Resorts rapidly growing Facebook community (www.facebook.com/marriott) and follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/marriott). For more information, visit www.MarriottHotels.com.
About Davidson Hotels and Resorts
Davidson Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, full-service hotel management company that provides management, development/renovation, acquisition, consulting and accounting expertise for the hospitality industry. The company has amassed one of the purest full-service hotel portfolios in the industry, ranging from the upper-upscale to near-luxury segments; encompassing 39 upscale, full-service, independent and branded hotels with over 11,800 rooms, and 1.4 million square feet of meeting space across the United States. Davidson is a trusted partner and a preferred operator for Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and Starwood hotels. Additional information on Davidson may be found at the company’s Web site, www.davidsonhotels.com.