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Marriott will nearly double downtown Raleigh hotel rooms

Posted July 30, 2008
Updated August 1, 2008

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— The opening of the Marriott hotel near the soon-to-be-completed Raleigh Convention Center will almost double the numbers of rooms available downtown, city officials say.

The hotel, at 434 Fayetteville St., is holding a "soft" opening Thursday, with the official grand opening planned for Aug. 27.

“We’re really thrilled to be part of this project in downtown Raleigh,” said Robert J. Morse, chief operating officer for Noble Investment Group, which operates the Marriott.

The Marriott is connected underground to the convention center, which is set to open Sept. 5. The two share a parking garage, Morse said.

The hotel will add 400 rooms in downtown. There are 610 hotel rooms now.

The $228 million convention center project will feature more than 500,000 square feet of space, 19 meeting rooms, an exhibit hall and a ballroom.

The convention center has more than 140 conventions already booked. If the center is as successful as some city leaders hope, the current number of hotel rooms won’t be enough. Every convention is expected to bring about 900 people to downtown for an average visit of four days.

“Right now, we're safe. I would say in the next three to five years, we won't be safe, and it could jeopardize the growth of the convention center,” Downtown Raleigh Alliance Director David Diaz said.

Diaz said that adding more hotel rooms within walking distance of the convention center will be crucial.

"I think the private sector is going to step up to the plate,” Diaz said.

Private projects have already been delayed due to the tight credit market, however.

The Lafayette tower, a 22-story building that would mix a hotel with offices and high-rise condominiums, has been delayed. The building would add about 200 rooms. The City Council voted earlier this month to give the developer four months to get his financing in place.

The 23-story Hillsborough Project also met funding problems. It is to rise at the corner of Dawson and Hillsborough streets and include 17,500 square feet of retail space, a 136-room hotel and 26 condos on the top floors.

Developers for both projects told WRAL News they are working to get back on track, but likely won’t open before 2010.

19 Comments

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  • FullOfId Jul 31, 2008

    iamforjustice - I guarantee the kids fighting in the malls would not frequent a zoo in Raleigh. Raleigh is a relatively large city for NC but we are certainly not at a level that justifies a subway. And just where would you put a theme park in this area?

  • corey3rd Jul 31, 2008

    We have a zoo in the area - the one in Asheboro. Sure it might not be close enough for people who need Starbucks on both sides of the street, but it works for most of us.
    The conventions that I've heard announced are not top dollar affairs. NC PE teachers? You think those people want to pay fat dollars for a hotel room downtown? Most of them will probably commute into town, stay with friends or book into an Econolodge. They won't be eating $50 steaks at the Mint. At this moment the convention center is seen as best for regional groups that don't want to pay Charlotte or Atlanta prices. We're a WalMart destination.

  • rogerkneebend Jul 31, 2008

    Well, a city can only grow but so fast and I like a lot of the ideas involved. But downtown does need more things besides restaurants.

    Transit will reduce the amount of car pollution that is ever growing in town since it runs on electricity.

  • mom2five Jul 31, 2008

    I dont care for zoos or themeparks but to be honest there isnt much to do in Raleigh. WRAL was doing a segment on things to do here but i havent seen anything on it in a while. weve lived here 13 years and no not a transit from up north and really havent found a lot to do except hang out at the lake. any ideas??

  • buco Jul 31, 2008

    Raleigh is nice place the live but why would you want to visit, this anit new your city

  • Tired_of_LIBERALS Jul 31, 2008

    If you want a transit system, move away to where there is one - we don't need that trash here...

  • rogerkneebend Jul 31, 2008

    Actually, Raleigh could use a transit system of some kind. It would decrease the amount of traffic and you could save on gas. I've lived in a city where there was mass transit and it's a great alternative to driving and finding no parking. Besides, since when is walking such a bad thing? Especially since there is an obesity problem in the area. Exercise won't kill ya.

    As far as the other things such as a zoo - that would never work.

  • not2cool Jul 31, 2008

    Attend a convention in Raleigh? Bwahahahahahaha......

  • Fx432 Jul 30, 2008

    Now, if those going downtown actually had decent places to eat, shop, etc...

  • Tired_of_LIBERALS Jul 30, 2008

    Then move to where there is what you want! Bye - bye :-)

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