ICE District welcomes JW Marriott Edmonton hotel

By Meg Tilley –

– With the symbolic passing of the key, the next chapter of ICE District has officially begun as Marriott International and ICE District Properties Joint Venture partnered to announce the JW Marriott Edmonton.

The district’s first luxury hotel — and only the third of its kind in Canada — the JW Marriott Edmonton will represent one of the company’s iconic brands.

“We want to ensure that Edmontonians are proud of ICE District, and when visitors come to our great city they have the finest place to stay,” said Glen Scott, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for Katz Group.

“We’ve been working very hard to bring the citizens and visitors to Edmonton a new, unparalleled downtown experience. With the best living accommodations, the greatest entertainment and activities and first-class leasing and business opportunities.”

Replacing the former Delta Hotel when Marriott International acquired Delta Hotels and Resorts in 2015, JW Marriott, which is expected to open in late 2018, will be one of the most significant hotel developments in Edmonton.

More than 30 years have passed since a luxury hotel has been built in the city, its location, in the heart of what will be Canada’s largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district, is one that is highly anticipated.

“The new JW Marriott property will provide guests with enriching luxury in the heart of downtown Edmonton,” said Don Cleary, President, Marriott Hotels of Canada, in a press release.

“As the largest hotelier in Canada, the opening of JW Marriott Edmonton in ICE District speaks to our continued commitment to providing choices to Canadian customers and the confidence we have in the success of this incredible venture. The hotel will perfectly compliment Edmonton’s evolving downtown and tourist landscape.”

Featuring 356 rooms and suites, JW Marriott Edmonton will consist of more than 25,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and conference space and one of the city’s largest ballrooms at over 10,000 square feet.

The hotel will also feature Spa by JW, a lavish spa offering an array of treatment options, and a restaurant operated by Oliver & Bonacini, one of Canada’s premier restaurateurs.

Arne Sorenson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Marriott International, said there are a number of reasons to be excited for this new venture.

“One is the transformation of Edmonton that the ICE District is all about, and for us to have a hotel in the midst of that district is just great fun. We, of course, love the hospitality business every day. We love welcoming people to a new city — Edmonton — and we love making sure we take care of our associates so that they’re inspired to welcome their customers,” he said.

“If we can do that and also be involved in changing a place, in bringing a vibrant new community with 24-hour activity, with folks living there, with food and beverage, with sports of course, with entertainment — that makes it that much more special and that’s exciting to be here.”

In the 90-year history of Marriott CEO’s, Sorenson is only the fourth, but he is the first CEO that does not have the last name Marriott.

In establishing a luxury hotel such as the JW Marriott Edmonton, Sorenson said the joint venture would answer what appears to be an increasing trend towards urbanization in Canada, and in many respects, across countries around the world.

“That’s driven by a desire for folks to have 24-7 lifestyles and I think its driven, in some respects, by the economy and by the advantages of being closer together and I think by some extent its driven by sustainability,” he said.

“So we see that happening here in Edmonton for somebody like Daryl Katz to be making the bet he’s making — to transform downtown — I think will pay dividends for the city for a long time.”

The addition of JW Marriott, part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio, will present a stunning property with unique features, one of many that can also be found in gateway cities and distinctive resort locations around the world.

Upon the completion of ICE District, it will be the largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district in Canada, delivering a new era of entertainment in the form of concerts, heart-stopping NHL and WHL hockey, blockbuster movies, world-class gaming, boutique shopping, trendy dining and more.