Marriott has deep roots in northern Virginia, particularly around the area of the 14th Street Bridge, close to Arlington and National Airport, which is now Reagan National Airport. Our first Marriott hotel, Twin Bridges, was located there, near the Pentagon, and opened in 1957.
Back in those days, you checked in from your car and the room rate was about $8. Of course, we looked in the car to see how many people were there, and we charged an extra dollar for each person. Those were the good old days.
Not too long after we opened the hotel, Pearly Rice, who was vice president for the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad came to see my dad. We bought our original Twin Bridges land from RF&P Railroad and Pearly Rice said, “Come on, Mr. Marriott, I want to show you some land around here.” So, we drove over and saw this beautiful, large tract of land, and it was offered to us at a very good price. But, my dad said, “I don’t know what I would do with it,” so we passed.
As Crystal City continues to grow, Marriott is also growing with this new, dynamic business district. This month, we opened two new exciting additions to Crystal City -- the 300-room Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel and the 325 all-suite Residence Inn Arlington Capital View. They’re designed to be LEED® Silver certified, and these two hotels showcase award-winning modern architecture and bring more than 250 new jobs to the community.
The Renaissance Arlington Capital View offers more than 17,000 square feet of event space, including a 10,000 square foot ballroom. Also, there’s a fantastic new restaurant there called SOCCi featuring modern Italian cuisine from Executive Chef David Creamer.
The south end of the complex houses the beautiful Residence Inn Arlington Capital View, which is designed to help extended stay business travelers thrive on long stays. The Residence Inn features a stylish, upscale design and spacious, comfortable suites perfect for those on the road for an extended time.
Both hotels share a swimming pool and a 2,500 square foot fitness facility. I think you’ll really enjoy seeing and staying in these beautiful new hotels. They’re state of the art.
What a great opportunity we missed by not acquiring that land many, many years ago.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.