Big changes are coming to two of Montgomery County's most popular lodging and convention facilities, both owned by The Woodlands Development Company.

Fred Domenick, general manager of The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, said the development company is the final stages of selling the property, located at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, for $137 million. The Woodlands Development Company did not return calls to confirm that figure. Darryl Cater, spokesman for Inland American Lodging Acquisitions Inc., which is purchasing the property, confirmed the company is acquiring the property. ""The Inland Group ... is beginning to acquire hotel assets, including a number of Marriott properties in the past couple of months,"" Domenick said, adding the company is negotiating a 40-year management agreement with Marriott International.

The hotel, situated along the waterway 20 minutes north of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, boasts 334 rooms, seven suites and two restaurants. The purchase by Inland, expected to close in mid-November, will not mean big changes for guests or staff of the hotel, Domenick said. ""It will be a seamless transition to customers and associates,"" he said. Town Center Improvement District President Frank Robinson said the board of directors of the district, which owns the adjoining $52 million convention center, granted him permission to execute estoppels, or legal declarations of truth, in connection with the sale.

The TCID will continue to own the convention center, which has been enjoyed by big-business clients such as Chevron, the Texas Society of Association Executives and Administaff in recent months. In its five years of existence, The Woodlands Waterway Marriott has become among the top 15 percent of successful Marriott hotels in the industry, Domenick recently told TCID board members. Officials with TWDC said in April it was ""testing the market"" for potential buyers of the Marriott, but said it was doing so ""to estimate value"" for the property rather than sell it.
Meanwhile, officials quietly have been making plans to revamp The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center.

Additions to the golf course-adjacent property include a new restaurant, added rooms and recreational amenities, according to a source. No one from the development company returned calls to confirm the changes, but one employee of The Woodlands Resort and Conference Center said the company is ""very excited"" about the additions in store for the property. Community officials also said they are aware of capital projects at the resort, although they were tight-lipped about specifics. Ron Bourbeau, president of the South Montgomery County Economic Development Partnership, said the resort - which encompasses meeting space, high-end restaurants and a water playground - serves as an ""opportunity for this community to be showcased"" to the businesses that host conferences there.

""We get the exposure to help us sell this community (to businesses) as one of our prized assets,"" he said.

" Posted by Tamborrel Bulox Team on
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