El Cajon’s new Marriott hotel hosts grand opening

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The Marriott Courtyard Hotel on El Cajon is a marriage of entrepreneurship and public trust, and the grand opening on Thursday, June 14, celebrated the success of the new hotel as well as the parties that made it happen.

“This project specifically is important not only for us as Excel Hotel Group, but to the city for a lot of reasons,” said Neil Patel, partner at Excel Hotel Group. “This was the first major branded hotel project in East County in the last 25 years. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of vision to be the first entrant into any market.”

The Marriott Courtyard Hotel on El Cajon is a marriage of entrepreneurship and public trust, and the grand opening on Thursday, June 14, celebrated the success of the new hotel as well as the parties that made it happen.

“This project specifically is important not only for us as Excel Hotel Group, but to the city for a lot of reasons,” said Neil Patel, partner at Excel Hotel Group. “This was the first major branded hotel project in East County in the last 25 years. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of vision to be the first entrant into any market.”

The hotel is ranked third in California Marriott Courtyard hotels, and 59th in the world, out of some 1,100 hotels worldwide.

“That’s a great testament to the team that we have here that really tries to do what we think is best which is serving the community and serving our guests,” said Patel.

Tye Turman, senior vice president of lodging development at Marriott International, said working with Patel and the Excel Hotel Group has been a phenomenal experience.

“Every once in a while, a franchisee comes along who becomes a friend and I sincerely call these gentlemen friends,” he said. “They are the epitome of what marriott looks for in a quality developer for our product. The culture of their business mirrors marriott. It means the world to be with them today.”

Turman said local help was essential to the project’s success.

“To the city officials who are here, the chamber of commerce, the lenders, the contractors, everyone who was responsible for sponsoring Excel Hotel Group, from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” he said. “We’re excited to be a part of this lovely city of El Cajon.”

The project for the new Marriott first began in May 2015 with the city of El Cajon to discuss the vision for downtown.

“Through that entire process, the city, the staff has done everything to help us,” Neil said.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who was present at the grand opening for the ribbon cutting, joked that he shares photos of the hotel on his phone more often than he shares photos of his own kids.

“You’ll get to know this as you spend more time here, but the staff is truly remarkable,” said Wells. “I come here often and everyone is so incredibly friendly and nice to me. We wish you a warm welcome and great success on all you do.”

Following the initial greetings and thanks, General Manager Juan Aldrid presented Harold Brown, chief executive officer of the East County Transitional Living Center, with a donation to the organization.

Brown said the community benefits from the government, business and non-profit organizations working together.

Courtyard has more than 1,100 hotels around the globe, in 50 states and 45 countries. Marriott is the largest brand, purely by the number of hotels, beating out Hilton Garden Inn by some 50,000 hotel rooms.

Turman said the founder of Marriott hotels had an important motto that the new hotel plans to follow: “Take good care of your associates, they’ll take care of the guests, and the guests will return again and again.”

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