The 10-story, 144 room AC Marriott hotel, which opened Tuesday, and is set to have a major economic impact of Gainesville according to city officials and hotel managment.
The hotel, located at 151 NW 14th St., booked $1.5 million worth of rooms prior to opening with 70 percent occupancy projected throughout the year, according to general manager Robert Plutto.
On opening, the hotel created 60 jobs, including concierge, valet attendants and receptionists associated with the University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance, Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management.
City commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos, District 4, believes the hotel will be a positive addition to Gainesville, not only for the economy, but also for tourists.
“There’s a need for them [hotels] here. This shows the strength of the economy,” Hayes-Santos said. “People are more likely to come to Alachua instead of just drive through I-75.”
“Guests will love the amenities,” said Plutto said, that features a rooftop pool, full European breakfast option and panoramic fitness center.
The hotel shares parking with The Standard student housing apartment at 1360 W. University Ave. Hotel customers with cars will need to pay a $15 daily fee to have their car parked by valet, according to Plutto.
Sydney Brandenburg, a resident at The Standard, said residents have designated floors in the parking facility, but is concerned about the added parking and traffic congestion.
“The parking lot itself is already dangerous, it’s cramped, it has tight corners and turns,” said Brandenburg. “When there’s a game or some event there will be an influx of people,”
Hotel management considers the location as a positive for the area. “We love being so close to the University of Florida,” Plutto said. “We’re a part of the community.”