Marriott booking large events as hotel nears completion


By Barb McKay


Management at the new TownePlace Suites Marriott in Kincardine is looking to the local hospitality industry for support to help bring economic opportunities to the community.



TownePlace Suites general manager Jackie Pawlifkowski, left, and site supervisor Bill Rotheutsch of GUPM stand in what will be the main conference facility in the new Mariott hotel. (Barb McKay photo)



The new hotel and conference centre, on track to open mid-December, is already taking bookings for its facility, but in order to draw large groups for meetings and conventions it will need to work closely with other hotels in the area. The Marriott contains 84 guest suites but a portion of the rooms are set aside for lengthier stays.


Travis Crawford, the hotel’s sales and marketing manager, said the Shriners Club has already booked the Marriott’s meeting space for a conference in June but will require 150 hotel rooms.


“We need other hotels to work with us so we can accommodate these types of events,” he said.


The Shriners plan to parade down Queen Street during the club’s stay in Kincardine and spouses of members have also arranged an afternoon shopping excursion downtown. Attracting events like this to Kincardine not only generates revenue for the Marriott, but also for many other businesses in the community, Crawford pointed out.

TownPlace Suites general manager Jackie Pawlikowski told The Independent on Thursday that the hotel was responding to a Request for Proposals from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) by submitting a bid to host the council’s spring meeting. The meeting will bring together between 75 and 100 economic development professionals, land developers, government officials, realtors and tourism industry representatives to network and share information.


It is an opportunity to showcase what Kincardine has to offer and perhaps create new opportunities for the municipality.


“We are trying to bring in things we have not been able to host before,” said Pawlikowski.


After months of construction, there is finally an end in sight. Walls are framed on the main floor, electrical wiring is installed, washrooms are plumbed and drywall is going up. The suites on the four upper floors are well underway with some near completion. All contain kitchenettes.


A large portion of the main floor is made up of meeting space. The Highland Room is 3,000 square feet with partitions to break the room up into several smaller rooms for more intimate functions. A second conference room, the Huron Room, is 1,000 square feet and can also be partitioned off into three smaller board rooms. The conference facilities are equipped with high-end audio visual equipment, including projector screens around the rooms.


Also on the main level, is a room with a golf simulator and an 11-foot screen that can also be used to watch movies and play video games. Near the conference rooms is a bar that will serve tapas-style food in a lounge area with comfortable seating and a fireplace. The hotel also features an outdoor licensed patio, fitness room, outdoor mini basketball court and an indoor saltwater pool.


Contrary to rumours, the Marriott will not have a full restaurant, but it will contain two kitchens - one to cook up hot breakfasts and bar fare and the other to be used by caterers brought in for events. At this time, there are no plans to add a restaurant.


The hotel’s developers, Legacy Hospitality Management and Development, own several acres of land off of Millennium Way where the Marriott is situated, and there are plans to add retail space that would be leased out and possibly a restaurant. Crawford said the developers have some good leads and something could materialize next year.