Hotel Conference Center Provides Anchor for Future Development

November 01, 2013

Twenty years ago, the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City, Alabama were almost entirely undeveloped. Today, the location is the site of multiple major developments, attracting tourism, education and sports enthusiasts to the region. One of the strongest anchors to impact all of these developments is the Courtyard Marriott and Conference Center, under construction now and expected to open in the spring of 2014 with 99 rooms and 36 full-time employees.

The Courtyard Marriott is just one of many major additions to the riverfront that have opened over the last 15 years or are still being developed. Renovations to the Alabama side of the river began with the addition of the Riverfront Amphitheatre and Riverwalk and have been continued by the opening of a two-mile urban whitewater rafting course, the addition of Troy University’s Riverfront Education Center and a new judicial center, improvements to existing public space through Project Riverwalk, and redevelopment of the nearby Phenix Plaza shopping center to include rafting outfitters, among other retailers.

“To have a Marriott right on the river is one of the biggest things to happen in Phenix City,” Mayor Eddie Lowe said, adding that the trust between the hotel’s developers and the city council has been crucial to this project’s success. “The true partnership [during this project] is one of the things I am proudest of.”

The Delta Regional Authority provided $170,000 in funding to Phenix City during this year’s SEDAP cycle, which will be leveraged with $70,000 from the city for a total of $220,000 to assist with the cost of sewer and drainage infrastructure relocation and site preparation for the Courtyard Marriott. The hotel is expected to total around $1 million in annual payroll, in addition to the skilled labor required for construction and the nearby businesses that will be able to create jobs through their location in the vicinity of the hotel.