Nashua Marriott undergoing $4.4 million renovation

The Nashua Marriott hotel is undergoing a $4.4 million renovation project to become a Courtyard by Marriott, the hotel chain’s brand designed for the business traveler.

The renovation has already resulted in all 245 guest rooms having new bedding, office furniture, carpeting, tile and other “consumer-friendly” amenities, including free high-speed Internet access in all rooms, according to General Manager Charles Clist.

The remainder of the renovation project – which includes a new lobby area – will be completed by July 16, Clist said.

Guests will first notice a new front desk/lobby area, complete with a floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Leather chairs will replace cloth-upholstered ones, and the existing tile floor will be covered with forest green carpeting.

Referred to as a “business library,” the new public space will feature a 12-station computer portion along a backdrop of a 52-inch flat-screen plasma television, near the working fireplace.

Even the elevators will be redone, with wood replacing carpeting that lines the interior walls.

“The before and after is going to be phenomenal,” Clist said.

The Nashua Marriott is now considered a “full-service” facility, Clist said, but under the Courtyard model, it will no longer offer room service.

Instead, a light dinner menu will be available in the lounge. The Garden Court restaurant will remain, but will only serve breakfast. The 110-seat facility, which is open to the public, currently serves lunch and dinner as well as breakfast.

“To be honest with you, our dinner business within the hotel is very limited,” Clist said.

The two ballrooms – which combined total more than 10,000 square feet – will remain, and the standard $149-a-night room rate will not change, according to Clist.

A change that guests won’t notice is the removal of the hotel’s accounting and human resources office, which will cut down on costs.

The offices will no longer be on the property, heading to a centralized off-site location elsewhere in New England, Clist said.

Marriott tries to refurbish its properties every five to six years, Clist said. The Nashua Marriott is 15 years old.

After Sept. 11, 2001, the hotel business slowed. But now it’s starting to show signs of coming back, making it a good time for a renovation project, Clist said.

Another reason for the renovations is to keep current. The Nashua Marriott’s Revpar index – the industry measure of revenue per available room – was at 148 percent at the end of last year, Clist said.

“We’re getting more than our business, given the size of our hotel,” Clist said. “We have to keep constantly renovating our product to maintain that premium that we currently hold.”

There is competition for hotel guests in the Nashua area, especially off Exit 8. The Crowne Plaza hotel, which is less than a quarter-mile away, is considered the Nashua Marriott’s biggest competitor, Clist said.

“We have a strong relationship with the management there,” he said. “When I’m full, he’s usually full.”

Right now, the Nashua Marriott sees between 48 and 52 percent repeat guests. Clist expects that loyalty number to increase with the renovations.

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