Although it's still three years away, New Jersey already is looking for ways to attract travelers to the Garden State for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014, and it's starting with a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott hotel, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced this month.
At a cost of $164 million, the hotel — which was built in 1983 and currently has 585 guest rooms, as well as 13,008 square feet of meeting space — will be expanded with a new 10,000-square-foot ballroom and upgraded with enhanced food and beverage options. The result, according to the Port Authority, will be 250 new jobs, $14 million in new wages and $60 million in new economic activity.
"Newark Liberty International Airport is the gateway to the 2014 Super Bowl," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "This private investment is an economic touchdown for New Jersey and the region. It will generate new jobs, robust economic activity and attract new tourism interests for many years to come."
According to the Port Authority, the project is thanks to a public-private partnership: In exchange for a 40-year extension on its airport lease, the hotel's owner, Host Hotels & Resorts, has agreed to finance the hotel improvements — $34 million worth of them before the Super Bowl, which will take place 20 miles away at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
"Today's announcement underlines our commitment to attracting, retaining and growing jobs in New Jersey today and beyond 2014," said New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. "As we work to provide the pro-business environment to make New Jersey the right place to do business, this type of collaboration between the private and public sectors is a great win for the state."