Looking for an extreme way to coddle attendees at your golf events? Look no further than the new Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, which includes a golf concierge in the new course's greens fees. You know, someone who will clean your clubs and confirm your airline reservation? "He does everything but caddy," says Jane M. Chaney, CMP, director of marketing for the 1,000-room JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes Resort, which makes up half of the Grande Lakes Resort, scheduled to open in July of 2003. The other half is Orlando’s first Ritz-Carlton, with 584 rooms.
"We're the answer for the incentive market in Orlando. It's so competitively priced to fly into our city, but there's never really been a high-end hotel for the incentive segment," says Chaney. Marriott owns both brands: the JW Marriott, which is its high-end brand ("service delivery is our strength," says Chaney), and Ritz-Carlton, which is managed as a separate entity. The site is about nine miles southeast of the Orlando International Airport. Both hotels plan on 70 to 80 percent of their business to be groups.
- The 18-hole golf course is designed by Greg Norman and managed by Ritz-Carlton.
- It's a mere three-and-a-half miles from the enormous Orange County Convention Center. "Many city-wides have been knocking at our doors," says Chaney. The JW Marriott will offer 72,000 square feet of event space, which includes 23 breakouts, so it's "terrific for corporate and pharmaceutical meetings that need intense breakouts. And our two board rooms are very high-end."
- A 40,000-square-foot, citrus-themed Ritz-Carlton Spa, located between the two properties, will have 40 treatment rooms in an Italian villa-style décor, as well as a 45-seat restaurant and private lap pool.
- It's all tucked into a private, 500-acre serene setting, of which 200 acres is water. "Very peaceful, " says Chaney. "You can hear a pin drop on the golf course."
Four companies have already booked events using both hotels, and 13 more are interested.
"We weren't ready for that level of interest, so now we've created a joint proposal. And we offer one property management system and one master account," although the sales and marketing teams remain separate at each hotel, as does the "rate integrity."
"A JW Marriott working so closely with a Ritz-Carlton? We're the only place where that's happening on the planet. There will be no Marriottizing of the Ritz -Carlton," assures Chaney.