Macon's under construction convention hotel gets leadership team

The new Marriott hotel under construction on Coliseum Drive in Macon is still months away from completion, but a leadership team is in place and several conventions have been booked.

David Rosenberg is the general manager for the Macon Marriott City Center hotel, Noble Investment Group announced this week. Rosenberg has more than 18 years of experience in the hospitality industry, he joined Noble six years ago and most recently ran a full-service hotel for the company in downtown Atlanta, he said.

Also, Pat Horan has been named director of sales for the hotel. She also has more than 18 years experience in the hospitality industry as a sales and marketing professional. Before joining Noble, Horan was director of operations for Sea Oaks Tennis Resort in Vero Beach, Fla.

The 220-room full-service Marriott hotel, scheduled to open in September, is connected to the Wilson Convention Center. Plans include a restaurant, lounge and 5,000 square feet of meeting space. The $47 million hotel is being built on a nearly 4-acre site in a portion of the parking lot next to the Macon Coliseum and Wilson Convention Center. The city of Macon is contributing nearly $10 million to the project.

“I think it’s a real dynamic complex that allows us to go out and attract new conventions and new business to Macon,” Rosenberg said.

The hotel, as well as renovation of the convention center, also will help “rally back” meeting and convention planners who have been skeptical about coming to Macon since the convention venue didn’t have an adjacent hotel, he said.

Renovation work on the convention center is expected to begin the first week of June and be completed by mid-August, he said. The hotel construction is on schedule and is expected to be completed in September.

“I think the great thing about this is that we are going to create some jobs,” Rosenberg said.

All current city employees who work for the Macon Centreplex — which include 47 full-time and more than 100 part-time workers — will become Noble employees. The Centreplex includes the convention center, the coliseum and Macon Auditorium.

“We will probably add another 50-plus employees who will work between the hotel and the convention center,” he said.

The hotel will announce later exactly when it will begin hiring the new workers, which will happen in late June or early July, Rosenberg said.

The hotel has already begun booking various groups including conventions, government groups and associations, he said.

But the recession presents “unique challenges,” he said.

“Clearly on a regional basis, tourism is down across the board,” Rosenberg said. “But we feel great about building a Marriott hotel. There is a very loyal customer base from a business travel prospective. We are getting a great reception regionally from meeting planners that want to come and book business in Macon.”