Hotel Online  Special Report


Alticor Names George Aquino General Manager
of the 340 room JW Marriott - Grand Rapids
October 7, 2005 - George Aquino has been named general manager of the new JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.

Aquino is a 17-year veteran in the hospitality industry, and has been director of operations and marketing at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel since 2000. He has vast and diverse experience in marketing, food and beverage, and four-star and four-diamond hotel and resort operations.

Aquino’s appointment as the opening general manager for the new JW Marriott is a natural progression for the 13-year Amway Hotel Corp. veteran. His career with the corporation began in 1992 when he was appointed assistant director of food and beverage for the hotel. He was
promoted a year later to direct the food and beverage and hotel operations at Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands, where he directed award-winning area culinary teams in local and international culinary competitions.

Aquino returned to Grand Rapids in 1996 to become corporate director of operations. In this role, he oversaw the operations and marketing efforts for Peter Island Resort, and orchestrated the marketing program for the Amway Grand. In 1997, Aquino was part of Amway Hotel
Corp.’s opening team for the Plaza Towers in downtown Grand Rapids. He also coordinated efforts in the management of Crystal Springs Country Club in nearby Caledonia.

Aquino began his hospitality career in 1988 with Regent International as the Maitre’d at the famed Le Ciel Bleu restaurant at the Mayfair Regent Hotel in Chicago. He quickly rose up the ranks and became director of catering in 1989, and assistant director of food and
beverage in 1990.

The JW Marriott - Grand Rapids will welcome its first guests in fall 2007. The 340-room glass-enclosed and uniquely designed hotel will be 24 stories tall. An adjacent 750-space parking structure will be located on the hotel’s south side. The hotel will be owned and operated by Alticor and its Amway Hotel Corp. subsidiary, which also operates the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Alticor chairman Steve Van Andel said: “It is a tremendous honor to have the JW Marriott flag flying in front of our new hotel. A first-class hotel like the one we’re building could not have a more appropriate name than JW Marriott - Grand Rapids.”

“Marriott is honored to be a part of this project. We are pleased that the JW Marriott flag will fly in front of Alticor’s new hotel, and it’s a pleasure to provide for the citizens of Grand Rapids the very best brand name in luxury accommodations,” said Andrew Houghton, brand executive, Marriott International. “Persons seeking elegant lodging in downtown will be very satisfied with the many amenities they will discover.”

Alticor president Doug DeVos said: “The JW Marriott is luxury lodging at its finest. It will certainly complement the Amway Grand in offering exclusive hotel accommodations that will support the new convention center, as our region competes with other cities for new and larger conventions.”

The JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, along with The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, provide the ultimate in luxury and lodging sophistication offered by Marriott International. JW Marriott properties deliver an extensive array of amenities sought by
discriminating travelers. There are more than 30 such properties located in key business and leisure destinations worldwide.

“And we will have one of them right here in Grand Rapids,” said Alticor co-founder Rich DeVos who, along with the late Jay Van Andel, initiated the new hotel project. “The JW Marriott is a special brand…for a special community. Jay and I were committed from the beginning to building a hotel that would be special. That’s what this great city and region will have with the new JW Marriott - Grand Rapids.”

JW Marriott Hotel Fact Sheet
Governance and management 

The hotel will be owned and operated by Alticor Inc., and its Amway Hotel Corp. subsidiary, which also operates the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Courtyard by Marriott, both in downtown Grand Rapids.  The new hotel will partner with respected hospitality brand Marriott.


The 340-room JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. will have 24 stories with an adjacent 450 space parking structure on the south side.  

The hotel’s design embraces the beauty of its position along the Grand River, and creates a strong presence in the city’s skyline.  

The hotel was designed by Lohan Caprile Goettsch Architects of Chicago, and BETA Design Group of Grand Rapids, Mich.  Brennan Beer Gorman Monk Interiors of New York City are designing the interior.

Site work began in June 2005.  Construction of the hotel began in the fall of 2005.  Its construction is a joint venture between Rockford Construction Company, Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Pepper Construction Group of Chicago.

The hotel will welcome its first guests in 2007. 

The hotel will feature a restaurant, lounge, 24-hour room service and concierge, fitness center, pool, and other amenities such as valet parking, and a business center.  

The hotel will offer excellent meeting facilities, including a ballroom that, as one of the largest in the region, will comfortably seat one-thousand guests.

Location  The hotel will be located at the southwest corner of Pearl Street and Campau Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.

About Alticor Inc.
Alticor ( is the parent company of Amway Corp., Quixtar Inc., and Access Business Group LLC. Headquartered in Ada, Michigan, USA, Alticor and its affiliates offer products, business opportunities, and product development, manufacturing and logistics services in more than 80 countries and territories worldwide. In its most recent fiscal year, the company reported worldwide sales of $6.2 billion. 


7575 Fulton Street 
East Ada, MI 49355 USA

Also See: Alticor Inc. Designing the 24-story, 340-room Marriott to Help Revitalize Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan / January 2005
Alticor, Which Owns and Operates the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Planning a 300-400 room Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan / October 2004


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