by Phil Lampron
It was a great week for Connecticut. First there was the announcement that the Sub Base of New London would remain open, a great cause for celebration. Then on August 25, Connecticut had another reason to celebrate as another jewel was added to Hartford’s Adrian’s Landing Project as the new Marriott Hartford Downtown hotel opened its doors for the first time.
Governor M. Jodi Rell was on hand for the opening ceremonies, as was Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, Waterford Group’s Len Wolman, Mark Wolman and Terry Bickhardt, along with Marriott Chairman and CEO, Bill Marriott.
“Another great day for Hartford and for Connecticut,” said Governor Rell. “Yesterday was pretty great too. When we heard the welcome news, of course, about saving the New London Sub Base, I have to tell you that I’m still riding a little bit on cloud nine.
“It is a wonderful occasion, it is an historic day for us here in Connecticut because we’re here to celebrate another wonderful achievement for downtown Hartford – the opening of this beautiful 409 room hotel.”
The $81 million, 22-story Marriott Hartford Downtown will serve as the official anchor hotel for the new Connecticut Convention Center. It was a proud day for Hartford, a proud day for Mayor Perez, “It’s a great day for our city and a great day for what we promised our citizens what we could do with the Adrian’s Landing Project. We keep meeting all our benchmarks and adding quality.”
Bill Marriott was also on hand to help raise the Marriott flag at the opening of the 19th century neo classically designed hotel which offers their guests the style of a “grand” hotel and with all the modern conveniences of a luxury hotel. “Witness this beautiful, beautiful new hotel, one of the finest in our system,” said Marriott. “I see the great renewal that’s taking place in downtown Hartford. It’s wonderful to see renewals take place in our cities across America. So it’s great that we are part of this public/private partnership of this beautiful hotel. We’re very, very proud to be here and we’re proud to fly this Marriott flag here in Hartford.”
Len Wolman, Waterford Group Chairman and CEO, also had reason to celebrate, “We’ve been working on this project for almost six years now. What incredible support and relationships have been formed along with amazing teamwork.
“Hartford’s revitalization is well on its way to restoring Connecticut’s capital as a vibrant center for business, entertainment, education and media. The next step in this makeover takes place today with the official opening of this multi-million dollar, 22-story Marriott Hartford Downtown, a major cornerstone in the city’s revitalization and anchor hotel for the recently opened 54,000 sq. ft. Connecticut Convention Center, the largest of its kind between New York and Boston.
“The Waterford Group is proud to welcome both facilities to Hartford as well as what is still to come, the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration, and numerous retail, residential and entertainment venues.”
The Marriott Hartford Downtown will staff over 250 associates and is one of 29 properties that the Waterford Hotel Group has been involved in developing and managing nationally, including 4,000 hotel rooms in 10 states with over 1,800 associates. “The long-term ongoing success of Marriott worldwide, as well as Waterford Group, testifies to the highest level of commitment of quality training and professionalism that will be evident with each Marriott Hartford Downtown staff member,” said Len Wolman. “You can have a beautiful property, but it’s the associates that create the experience.”
The Waterford Hotel Group’s strong partnership with Marriott is evident in the 14 Marriott properties nation-wide that they manage. “I’m thrilled to continue our great association with the Wolman family and Waterford Hotel Group.” said Marriott.
It was a day when another jewel was added to Hartford’s downtown revitalization crown and Mayor Perez couldn’t have more pleased, “When we dreamed of this hotel, we knew what we wanted but needed a partner like the Wolman’s to make that dream a reality. We keep hitting home runs, now I hope we can go into extra innings.”