Business DevelopmentDealFamilySpotlightFara IllichAugust 18, 2017
Located at the corner of Central Avenue and Madison Street, the area around the Residence Inn and Courtyard is undergoing a lot of change. (Photo: Fara Illich)
On a Tuesday afternoon, the lobby of downtown’s new Marriott highrise is bustling — baseball fans piling out of the elevator, business types clicking away at their laptops, while a couple sips wine at the bar. Since opening in May, Arizona residents started hopping aboard the summer deal train at numbers even surprising for Jim Paulon, general manager at Residence Inn/Courtyard Phoenix Downtown. Between big concerts, sports events, conventions and staycationers, he said the occupancy has exceeded even his expectations. “We’re in a unique position because of our proximity to venues — we’re just a stone’s throw to the Suns and Mercury, Chase Field and Comerica,” he said. You can’t tell at first glance, but the hotel is actually a hotels plural, a dual-brand Residence Inn and Courtyard — basically two hotels stacked on top of each other. It doesn’t feel separate, since the amenities are shared, but it does give guests two options. The Residence Inn offers a little more square footage than the Courtyard, a full-size fridge, kitchenette, hot breakfast buffet and is pet-friendly. There are also better deals for longer stays. Both room types feature nice views of the Valley, stylish new furnishings and uniquely Phoenix touches. But the biggest selling point of all might be the rates. At $79 a night for the Courtyard and $94 for the Residence Inn (with Arizona ID) through September, the prices for locals can’t be beat. And it’s not just residents taking advantage of the new game in town. The Marriott hotels add 200-plus rooms to the “convention block,” which is the total number of rooms the Phoenix Convention Center can package and block off for big events. This means theoretically attracting bigger conventions, creating more restaurant and retail traffic, and just more economic impact overall. “What we do in downtown impacts the whole city,” said Yvette Keobke, director of sales and marketing for Residence Inn/Courtyard Phoenix Downtown.
Instead of competing with others in the downtown hospitality industry, Keobke said they strive do the opposite. “We work together with the other hotels, the restaurants, the whole community to grow the vibrancy of downtown,” she said. “Everyone is willing to help each other out and you just don’t see that in other cities.” Located at the corner of Central Avenue and Madison Street, the area around the Residence Inn and Courtyard is coming up. The light rail will eventually expand south past the hotel’s doorway, adaptive reuse projects in the Warehouse District are taking off, and construction of the new Fry’s grocery store across the street is underway. With Talking Stick Resort Arena and Chase Field next door, two legacy drivers of downtown activity, the new Marriott might just ride out its first summer on top. “Between the light rail expansion and the Warehouse District, you can see where the growth is going, and it’s all happening to the south of downtown,” Paulon said. “We’re situated right at the gateway of the future of downtown.” There’s still time this season to catch a D-backs game, check out a concert, or enjoy dinner and a night on the town. For those looking to use the “Stay and Play” local discount, use the promo code “LPR” when making a reservation.