Global hotel giant Marriott International announced Tuesday that it will keep its base of operations in the Washington, DC, suburb of Bethesda, MD, but will move into a build-to-suit, $600 million building downtown, WBAL reported.
Marriott has been headquartered in Bethesda for more than 60 years. The company considered other sites in DC,and Virginia, but local officials said the county, state and Marriott "partnered on an agreement" to keep them from relocating.
- The company has not settled on an exact site in downtown Bethesda but said the selection process should be complete by mid-2017, with a targeted completion date in late 2022. Marriott will also build a 200-room hotel adjacent to its new offices.
The company's new headquarters will accommodate 3,500 employees and take up about 700,000 square feet of leased office space, allowing Marriott to continue to make an economic impact on Bethesda and the state of Maryland. Last year, WBAL TV reported, Marriott hotels and business operations generated more than 10,400 jobs in Maryland.
Data show that the hotel industry in general will keep contributing to the U.S. economy for some time.
In June, market research firm Lodging Econometrics reported that the U.S. was the international hotel industry's top performer in the first quarter of 2016, with 4,471 hotel projects — 551,965 rooms — either in the planning stages or under construction. U.S. hotel projects accounted for 40% of the world's total, while room count took a 29% share.
New York City had the most hotel-construction activity of any city in the world, with 187 projects underway — 32,136 rooms — according to the report. Upscale hotels represented 31% of the U.S. construction market with Marriott-branded Residence Inns, Courtyards and SpringHill Suites capturing one-third of that segment.
While Marriott's business is firmly rooted in traditional hotel concepts, one of its developers this year decided to experiment with the construction process. Texas-based NewcrestImage is taking the AC Hotel brand modular, with a 142-room project in Oklahoma City. The company plans to build the ground floor using traditional construction methods and then utilize 81 modules, manufactured by Guerdon Modular Buildings, to complete the five-story structure.