Nashville Chooses Marriott for New Convention Hotel

Marriott International has been chosen to operate a planned 1,000-room headquarters hotel serving the proposed new Music City Center in downtown Nashville, Nashville's Metro Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) announced last week.

According to local newspaper The Tennessean, the new hotel will be a Marriott Marquis—just the fourth of its kind, joining other Marriott Marquis properties in Atlanta, New York's Times Square and one that's forthcoming in Washington, D.C.

According to MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan, MDHA chose Marriott over six other operators—Hyatt, Hilton, Omni, InterContinental, Peabody and Starwood—because it was "the most aggressive" and because the company, which currently has more than 2,000 rooms in the area, knows the Nashville market well.

Although it now has an operator, an architect and a developer, the $300 million hotel does not yet have funding. While MDHA leadership has proposed a public-private financing mix, skeptics, according to The Tennessean, have said "full public ownership is more likely, given the current economic environment."

The new hotel is contingent upon construction of the new Music City Center, which is scheduled to open in 2013 but has not yet been approved by Nashville's city council. Assuming the new convention center is approved, construction on the adjoining hotel could begin as soon as next summer.