The Marriott Marquis hotel next to the Washington (D.C.) Convention Center has finally opened.reports Abha Bhattarai in the May 2 Washington Post.
Martin Morse Wooster adds: “You will recall that the DC in 2011 Worldcon bid collapsed in part because one of the hotels they used for the bid was ‘a hole in the ground.’ This was the hotel. It was still a hole in the ground in 2011.”
The hole is filled now with a very big hotel that the Post says cost $520 million.
The hotel — the District’s largest, at 1.1 million square feet — has been more than 20 years in the making. Then-Mayor Marion Barry first proposed the project in 1990. Since then, a number of contentious debates have added to the drama surrounding the hotel’s financing, development and construction. The economy added another hurdle when private financing options dried up in the wake of the recession. The District ultimately provided $206 million in public funding, or 40 percent of the hotel’s final cost, and ground was broken in late 2010.
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]
Wooster asks me to note that the DC in 2017 bid does NOT include any convention center facilities.
FWIW, the DC 17 bid is using the Marriott Wardman. While the lobby & sleeping rooms are new, the (refurbished) convention facilities are those of the old Sheraton Park, home of the 1974 Worldcon … the first Worldcon I attended.
It’s been an interesting four decades of Worldcon attendance ….
DC17 looked at both the convention center and its associated hotels, and at the Marriott Wardman Park, and decided that the offer we got from the Marriott Wardman Park was a much better offer. It had cheaper room rates, and meant that we could fit the entire convention (all of the function space, and an 1100 room block) in one site.
The hotel has changed substantially since Discon 2 (and a lot of Disclaves) were there. The central complex, including most of the bedrooms and all of the function space, was torn down and replaced with a new, modern building — but things like the Wardman Tower (the oldest part of the hotel, opened in 1928, although substantially upgraded with a renovation that just completed this past year) are still there. And, at a recent tour, I met one of the employees who had been there long enough to still remember Disclave.