Marriott marks 30 years with $8 million renovation - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Marriott marks 30 years with $8 million renovation

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The Charleston Marriott Town Center has had to change to keep up with the times.

For one thing, a room that was $25 a night when the hotel opened in September 1982 is now $209.

And what once was the hottest disco bar in town is today a warmly lit, low-key, long, open bar with one flat-screen television perched high above back-lit liquor bottles looking out at several different chair arrangements for quiet parings, impromptu meetings or just about any kind of gathering.

And that's the latest concept for the Marriott's lobby, which has welcomed more than 2.8 million overnight guests in its 30-year span.

Charleston Marriott Town Center General Manager Steve Lemmerman described the renovations as "rejuvenation" during a news conference Nov. 13 to unveil the changes.

Lemmerman said the lobby now follows the "great room" concept with zones for people to congregate for business or relaxation.

Seven employees who have been employed by the Charleston Town Center Marriott since it opened were on hand for the celebration.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones spoke at the event, recalling the weekend the hotel opened, and serving the out-of-state crews at his restaurant.

"I know how important it is," Jones said. "The employees are what makes this place."

Jones thanked Inland American Lodging Advisor Inc., the company that purchased the Marriott last year and has paid for the renovations.

"I'm grateful to be here and grateful for the changes," Jones said. "And I'm grateful for the investment in this city."

Representatives for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., all spoke at the event.

Several representatives from Inland attended the event as well.

"Clearly we are newcomers to the property," said Inland's president and chief executive officer Marcel Verbaas. "We are excited to be part of the Charleston family."

Lemmerman said the region has invested in the Marriott, so it's been important for the hotel to invest in the community and to continually upgrade. He also said the renovations have continued the unique, "West Virginia flavor" the hotel has always had, such as artwork and furnishings.