Several projects in downtown Austin have announced steps forward this week, and one of the larger projects—the JW Marriott Austin hotel planned for the block of Second and Third streets and Brazos Street and Congress Avenue—was announced to have 19,000 rooms booked three years ahead of the project's completion.
Steve Genovesi, senior vice president of sales for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the additional 1,200 rooms the hotel will bring to the urban core in Austin make a huge difference in the CVB's ability to sell Austin to large groups and conventions.
"Many times there was a lot of positive perception about the city, and many times it just came down to this core element of having another large hotel," Genovesi said. "We have had a pretty strong list of clients for quite some time now who have eagerly expressed interest if we were ever able to secure another large hotel ... Now we’re able to go back and engage with those clients."
Jay Spurr, director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott Austin, agreed.
“The addition of a 1,000-room hotel to downtown Austin is a game-changer for the city,” Spurr said in a news release. “Having this number of hotel rooms under one roof will allow the city to land large, national conventions and meetings for which it could otherwise not compete.”
Genovesi said it is unusual for a project three years away from completion to have 19,000 rooms already spoken for.
"I think that’s very impressive," he said. "For a hotel that is basically three years from opening, that’s a very impressive number of hotel rooms already confirmed."
Developer White Lodging said the project will be 33 stories and have 1,012 rooms upon completion, with 115,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and exhibition space with food and beverage venues, underground parking, and a 4,500-square-foot fitness center.
According to the release, building the project is expected to create 2,500 jobs during the two years it will be under construction, and the hotel will employ more than 700 people once it is open.