News for the Hospitality Executive
|By Donna Hogan, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Dec. 16, 2003 - The venerable Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley is ringing in the New Year with a name change and a notch up in prestige.
The 67-year-old hotel at 5402 E. Lincoln Drive will be dubbed a JW Marriott resort on Jan. 1. It's the Washington, D.C.-based hotel company's new luxury level brand designed to bridge the gap between standard full-service Marriotts and the top-of-the-line Ritz Carlton chain.
The northeast Valley already has one of the first JW Marriotts -- the 950-room sprawling resort at Desert Ridge on 56th Street in Phoenix, which opened a year ago.
With the inclusion of the Camelback Inn, Marriott will have 31 built or re-branded JW Marriotts in such international hot spots as Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta, Miami, Fla., Hong Kong, Mexico City, Seoul, South Korea and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Only seven are resorts, said Camelback Inn spokeswoman Terri Worthington.
The Paradise Valley property just completed an $8 million makeover of its spa, but taking on the JW Marriott name will mean an immediate makeover of the guest rooms too, Worthington said. The 453-room resort will get new signs with a copper version of the JW Marriott's griffin logo by Jan. 1, but letterheads, business cards and other paper products will be reordered when the old ones are used up, she said.
JW Marriott signature amenities, such as complimentary bottled water in guest rooms, duvets and full-size luxury shampoo bottles, will be in place when the name goes on the sign, Worthington said.
Some of the JW Marriott's required service features, such as 24-hour room service and 24-hour concierge service, are already available at Camelback Inn, she said.
Camelback Inn has such a prestigious reputation that the new branding won't make a difference to local people or those who know the Valley's resort market, said Rachel Sacco, president of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. But it could be a draw for new high-end visitors.
"The JW Marriott brand is widely known as a luxury collection, and JW Marriott status will reach those customers unfamiliar (with the area)," she said.
Worthington said the resort's official new name will be "Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa." "People in Scottsdale will always just call it Camelback Inn," Sacco said.
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(c) 2003, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. MAR,