Bill Marriott Rich DeVos Dedicate JW

September 7, 2007
| By Pete Daly |
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GRAND RAPIDS — The dedication of the JW Marriott luxury hotel on Sept. 19 will include a familiar name as a guest of honor: J.W. Marriott.

J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, will join Rich DeVos in dedicating the new $100 million hotel in a private ceremony for VIP guests, followed by a reception for them, including guided tours of the hotel. The hotel will open to the public on Sept. 21.

Officials of the new hotel said Marriott's visit is a rarity, his only appearance at an opening of a JW Marriott hotel this year. Besides Grand Rapids, three other JW Marriotts have 2007 openings: in Beijing, in London and in Bangalore, India

The JW Marriott here is the only one in the Midwest: There are 16 in the United States, and a total of 36 worldwide. One is scheduled to open in Chicago in about two years, according to George Aquino, general manager of the JW Marriott Grand Rapids.

The Amway Hotel Corp., a subsidiary of Alticor, owns the new JW Marriott, as well as the AmwayGrandPlaza and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott, which opened 10 years ago.

The planning of the JW Marriott was the last major business collaboration of Rich DeVos and fellow Amway founder Jay Van Andel, who died of Parkinson's disease in December 2004.

Marriott International, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is a $12 billion organization with 10 brands of hotels and with lodging locations in most of the developed countries throughout the world. There are almost 2,900 of the corporation's hotels in the U.S. alone. Its heritage can be traced to a root beer stand opened in Washington, D.C., in 1927 by J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott.    

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