January 13, 2016 11:45 pm
Updated: January 13, 2016 11:47 pm

Luxury hotel chain coming to downtown Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: Even though there are questions about the economy, it's not stopping the private sector from stepping up to invest in Edmonton's downtown. Vinesh Pratap reports.

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EDMONTON — It’s touted as a way to redefine opulence – Marriott International announced Wednesday it is bringing its first luxury hotel to Alberta.

The four-star JW Marriott Edmonton will be located in the heart of the city’s entertainment district, near Rogers Place. It will house 356 rooms and suites, a spa and more than 25,000-square feet of meeting and conference space.

“The hotel will perfectly compliment Edmonton’s evolving downtown and tourist landscape,” Don Cleary, president of Marriott Hotels of Canada said.

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“It reminds me, of course, of what happened in downtown Los Angeles and the same thing, the same potential is very much on offer here in Edmonton,” Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International said.

When the hotel in ICE District was originally announced in October 2014 is was going to be a Delta but Marriott International bought Delta last year.

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While some may question the move to bring in a luxury brand as the economy cools, the hotel company said it isn’t worried.

“In many respects for those who have got boldness and vision this is probably exactly the time to act,” Sorenson said.

Richard Wong is an executive VP with Nova Hotels and also helps market Edmonton as a tourism destination. He said while times might be tough right now, it’s important to think about where Edmonton wants to be and should be in the future.

“I think it’s a good fit. I think it augments what we have here. I think it elevates our game and I think it’s good for the city.”

Marriott Hotels partnered with the Katz Group to bring the hotel to Edmonton. Once opened, it will be one of only three of the brand in Canada.

“This remarkable new property will continue to reinvigorate downtown Edmonton and demonstrates our commitment to best in class amenities in ICE District,” Daryl Katz, chairman of the Katz Group said.

“The JW Marriott brand will bring a heightened hotel experience unlike any other in Edmonton, and provide residents and visitors with an exceptional experience for both business and leisure travel.”

The hotel is expected to open in late 2018.

With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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