by nomabid
Washington, D.C., April 9, 2009… The first hotel in Washington, D.C.’s rapidly developing NoMa (north of Massachusetts Avenue) neighborhood opens to the public on April 15, 2009. The new 218-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 1325 Second Street, N.E. is the city’s first majority Hispanic-owned hotel and is the first in the area to feature Courtyard’s new lobby, room design, and “refreshing business” concept.Au Bon Pain, located on the ground floor of the new Courtyard by Marriott, is now open. One of several retailers that will be located within the hotel, Au Bon Pain’s menu includes distinctive breads and pastries baked fresh on the premises as well as specialty soups, sandwiches, salads, coffees, and Espresso beverages. It is open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. weekdays, and from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on weekends.

Adjacent to the New York Avenue Metrorail Station, five minutes from the U.S. Capitol, and six miles from Ronald Reagan National Airport, the Courtyard Washington DC/U.S. Capitol offers guests convenient access to Union Station, the Library of Congress, the National Mall and the Verizon Center. The hotel also features a green roof that reduces energy consumption and storm water runoff. The hotel provides direct access to the Metro station platform and the newly completed Metropolitan Branch Bike Trail.

“We are thrilled to have a hotel open in NoMa that will support our office tenants, local businesses, the Federal government, and nearby organizations such as Gallaudet University,” said Elizabeth Price, President of the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID). “We also are pleased to welcome Au Bon Pain to our growing roster of new restaurants that also includes Pound Coffee, Five Guys, Heidi’s, and Naples Sisters Pizza & Mussels.”

“We are very excited about the opening of this hotel and to be a part of the exciting revitalization of the NoMa area,” said Bobby Finvarb, CEO of Finvarb Companies, LLC, majority owner of the hotel. “I’m also proud to open the first Hispanic-owned hotel in the city and to work with Marriott once again. Marriott’s Diverse Ownership Initiative is the best in the industry.” Co-owners are local investors Dave Wilmot of Harmon, Wilmot, Brown & Bagwell, LLP, Craig Welburn of Welburn Hospitality, Thomas Hopkins, and Dr. Barron Harvey.

“From day one, Courtyard has prided itself as a brand that listens to what business travelers want from a hotel,” said Brian King, Vice President and Global Brand Manager, Courtyard by Marriott. “Guests want more control and choice with services and amenities that create a healthy balance between working and relaxing. We redefined the Courtyard lobby so it invites guests to get out of their rooms to work, socialize or for entertainment, whether traveling alone or with colleagues.”

The open, bright and contemporary new Courtyard hotel lobby welcomes guests with vivid contrasting colors, including blue, green, orange, and red. The traditional front desk is replaced with separate welcome pedestals to create more personal and private interactions when guests check in. Flexible seating options include a communal table in the middle of the action, private media booths with high-definition televisions, and a more intimate semi-enclosed lounge area.

A signature element of the new lobby is the exclusive Courtyard GoBoardTM, a 52-inch LCD touch screen packed with local information, maps, weather, and news, and business and sports headlines. Guests can navigate using the touch screen to find restaurants, local attractions, and directions.

Guests can connect to free WiFi and there are ample electrical outlets throughout the lobby to power digital devices. The enlarged business library features several complimentary computer terminals along with a free printer and separate computer stations dedicated to printing airline boarding passes and checking flight status.

Dining has been completely redesigned with The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect, offering casual, flexible seating and easier access to food. The Bistro provides higher-quality, healthier menu options for breakfast and light evening fare such as including snacks, wine, and beer so guests can unwind. The Market(TM), a 24/7 shop for snacks, beverages, and sundries, is always open.

Guests looking to take their minds off work can grab a snack and take a seat in front of the large high-definition television located in the lounge to watch a variety of programming, including top news, business, sports, and entertainment channels.

The eight-story hotel offers 2,800 square feet of meeting space to accommodate small meetings and functions of up to 100 people. Other guest facilities and services include the Bistro restaurant, serving breakfast and dinner, an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, guest laundry and business center.

To learn more about Courtyard’s new lobby concept, visit www.gocourtyard.com to see guest-guided video tours and get the latest news about the brand.

NoMa is a rapidly developing mixed-use neighborhood north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station in Washington, D.C. In 2007-2008, private developers invested over $1 billion in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID, and have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space over the next ten years. For more information about the BID, including an interactive development map, see the BID Web site at https://www.nomabid.org.