The historic and renovated Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette hotel opened at 3:00. The hotel staff presses a button at that time, and Peoria’s so-called Grand Lady becomes part of Marriott’s world wide hotel and conference centers.
Developer Gary Matthews says the roughly $44 million renovations to the hotel include replacement of all internal working parts of the more than 85-year-old structure. It will eventually include a pedestrian walkway to the neighboring Peoria Civic Center.
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says the hotel’s grand reopening is a major part of having a vibrant and lively downtown.
“A few months from now when we get more detail on Caterpillar’s specific plans for their new world headquarters then you go south a couple of blocks and the Warehouse District starts to take shape. That puzzle really is starting to come into place and it really is going to have a dramatic impact on our downtown,” Ardis says.
Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman participated in the ceremonial ribbon cutting. He says the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Caterpillar’s new Visitors Center, and East Peoria’s new downtown are all less than a year old. Oberhelman says those things are coupled with more things to come, like the Courtyard addition to the Pere, and the walkway to the Civic Center. “We’ve got it set-up,” Oberhelman says. “It’s a huge compliment to the area and region! We have very bright things and a long runway ahead.”
The Peoria Marriott Pere reopening is one part of a three phase effort. The $93 million project includes the 14-story Pere as well as a new parking deck and the 10-story Courtyard Marriott being built next door. That’s expected to be complete next year.
The hotel has guests checking starting at 3:00, that includes the presidential suite that is booked for tonight.