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Marriott marks 30 years

The Charleston Marriott Town Center has been the largest convention hotel in West Virginia since it opened, said Steve Lemmerman, the hotel's general manager.

That is a remarkable feat, given the fact there's some stiff competition from the likes of The Greenbrier Resort.

Lemmerman's comment came Tuesday during a press conference marking the hotel's 30th anniversary and just-completed $8 million renovation.

Also during the press conference, Lemmerman paid tribute to the seven employees who have been with the hotel since the doors opened on Sept. 15, 1982. They are: Virginia Brown, housekeeper; Barbara Duff, housekeeping team leader; Reba Nichols, banquet server; Larry Walker, banquet supervisor; Linda Wolfe, lead server; David Robinson, room service captain; and Jeffrey Messinger, director of engineering.

All but Duff were on hand for the press conference. Fittingly, the veteran employees sat on the front row.

Last year, Inland American Lodging Advisor, an affiliate of Oak Brook, Ill.-based Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., bought the Charleston Marriott for $25.5 million from Forest City Enterprises.

Marcel Verbass, president and chief executive officer of Inland American Lodging Advisor, was among the Inland dignitaries who attended Tuesday's festivities. He made a point of thanking the companies involved in the renovation. They are:

Project management: Inland American Lodging Advisor, Orlando, Fla.

Rooms: Design, Marriott International of Bethesda, Md.; General contractor, Continental Contractors of Annapolis, Md.; Local Subcontractor, Elco Mechanical of Charleston.

Lobby: Architect, CMMI of Atlanta; General contractor, RC General Contractors of Charleston; Local subcontractors, Elco Mechanical, City Electric of Charleston, Central Glass of Charleston, McCormick Tile of Alum Creek, Charleston Acoustics of South Charleston, Taylor County Supply of Grafton and Charleston Steel of Dunbar.


Continuing on the topic of building renovations: One year and seven months after bids were opened for the renovation of Building 3 at the Capitol Complex, no contract has been awarded and the building sits empty.

Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown said the bids are still under evaluation.

Because of the delay, the state continues to pay landlords around the city for workspace for the building's 700 former occupants.


The Greenbrier Resort was the subject of a glowing feature in Friday's Wall Street Journal titled, "The Great Thanksgiving Escape: A quartet of holiday-weekend getaways to make you gobble for joy."

The item mentions that The Greenbrier's dining venues are overseen by Executive Chef Richard Rosendale.

Other recommended resorts: Meadowood in St. Helena, Calif.; Dunton Hot Springs near Telluride, Colo.; and Camden Harbour Inn in Camden, Maine.


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