Posted on September 10, 2019
By Paul Wedding – firstname.lastname@example.org
Inside the Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, the carpeting has yet to be laid, the rooms have yet to be filled, but that won’t be for much longer as management says they expect to open around late September.
“They’re doing finishing touches,” Marriott General Manager Steve Dennis said. “The team is working really hard and our internal team also. We’re very excited about it.”
The end of September estimation could go a few days in either direction, Dennis said. They still have some more rooms to complete, and the hotel rooms, while basically completed, haven’t been filled with their mattresses yet. The hotel will have more than 200 rooms, including 12 suites, and an apartment where Toby and Sondra Eoff, two of the hotel’s investors, will be staying.
As far as who will staff the hotel, Dennis said the hiring process has been going fantastically. The Marriott had a job fair just a couple of weeks ago where Dennis said probably about 500 people showed up.
“Out of that, we were able to select 70 that week, and since then we’ve got more than 100 employees at this point,” Dennis said.
Dennis said they are looking to bring on more than 200 employees, and many positions that are remaining are part-time positions, banquet positions, and housekeeping supervisory positions. Front desk staff is filled, as well as their sales team and their engineering team. Some key positions that are still needed include some service level and culinary positions, as well as an additional part-time position at the Starbucks inside the hotel.
While there was some concern over hiring due to the cost of housing in Odessa now, Dennis said that many of the hires were already located here, and in fact, the hotel even drew some natives back to Odessa.
“Some of our management are folks who are from this area but left,” Dennis said. “And because the hotel opened, they’ve all come back, because now it can support their lifestyle … It’s just fantastic to see.”
There are already some events planned for the conference center, including Pink the Basin’s annual event, previously held in Midland for the most part. The first event planned to be held there doesn’t look to be happening at this point, at least not when it was scheduled. The Society of Petroleum Engineers had scheduled to have a conference from Sept. 11-12, but with the hotel still not complete, that’s up in the air.
“We don’t know if it’s going to be a location change or a date change,” Marian Wilson, director of sales and marketing for the Odessa Marriott, said.
Many external additions have been added to the hotel in recent months, including a 10,000-pound tree taken from the Bush family’s ranch in Crawford replanted outside the hotel, and a new kinetic LED energy tree art piece standing outside the front entrance of the hotel on Fifth Street. Many art pieces are also being added inside and in the rooms.
“A lot of the art here is the metals and the woods and things that you’d find in the area,” Dennis said.
The hotel also includes a 120-seat restaurant called the Barrel & Derrick, which Dennis said would open the same time as the hotel, and is connected to the Ector Theatre, currently under renovation, which is expected to open in December.