Construction delays push back opening of new Ithaca Marriott hotel

The building’s shell is complete and the huge construction crane came down last month, but delays mean the new Ithaca Marriott Hotel scheduled to open in Downtown Ithaca this summer won’t be ready to open until October.

The Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons isn't quite ready to open next month. 14850 Photo.

The Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons isn’t quite ready to open next month. 14850 Photo.

Originally slated to open this August, the Ithaca Marriott is being constructed adjacent to the existing Rothschild Building and Green Street parking garage along South Aurora Street in Downtown Ithaca. The hotel is slated to have 160 guest rooms as well as flexible meeting and banquet space in a ten-floor building.

Hotel staff recently began alerting would-be guests with reservations that their plans would have to change. Since the hotel planned to open in mid August, they had reservations that included event attendees as well as families bringing students to college.

Now, says hotel Director of Sales Lorie Wasilawski, the plan is to open on October 18th, “but as with any construction project, things can change.” She tells us the hotel is “currently taking reservations for November 15th and beyond.”

It will be the third Marriott property in the Ithaca area, following the 99-room Courtyard Hotel built several years ago near the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, and the 106-room Fairfield Inn & Suites that opened in 2013 next to Manos Diner, now Old Mexico Restaurant, in Ithaca’s Southwest.

Artist's rendering of the Ithaca Marriott from Urgo Hotels site proposal, courtesy of City of Ithaca.

Artist’s rendering of the Ithaca Marriott from Urgo Hotels site proposal, courtesy of City of Ithaca.

The family-owned Urgo Hotels company, which will operate the new Marriott, currently operates 31 hotels in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, including several hotels each in the New York City and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas, and the Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid.

The Ithaca Marriott will feature a ground-floor restaurant facing the east entrance to the Commons, with seasonal outdoor seating, right near where the old Hotel Ithaca stood, with its famed bar operated by Theodore Zinck. “It’s going to be beautiful,” says Lorie Wasilawski.

The main entrance faces South Aurora Street and the Trebloc Building, and there will be an additional entrance from the City-owned Green Street parking garage, which will serve as hotel parking much the same way the Seneca Street parking ramp provides spaces for the Hilton Garden Inn north of the Commons.

This month, an application is before the City of Ithaca’s Board of Zoning Appeals to allow an illuminated “Marriott” sign on the exterior wall of the hotel’s 10th floor, facing drivers on Green Street. The 76-square-foot sign would be larger than the 50-square-foot maximum allowed by the City’s sign ordinances, and would be a sixth sign, beyond the usual limit of two per business. No decision was made at last week’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.

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