Fourteen days before opening day is a significant milestone for any Marriott hotel opening. At T minus fourteen or T-14, the Marriott opening task force assembled from the best Marriott's in the country arrives at the new hotel to assist with all the training and preparations for the big day. The JW hosted a "JW Culture Day" at T-14 complete with speakers from Marriott International and a surprise appearance by Mr. Richard DeVos, co founder of Amway Corporation and owner of the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. At T-15, The JW invited the families of our associates to a JW Pep Rally and Open House to give them a first glimpse of the hotel.
It was the most invigorating fourteen days of bonding for the opening team. The JW did a lot of great things to promote the opening, but by far, the coolest thing the hotel did was to do a 14 day countdown using the brand new building as the backdrop. Erika Johnson, Brand Experience Manager, Joel Berghorst, Assistant Rooms Manager, Lisa Vandenberg, Housekeeping Manager and Colleen "CODA" Davis, Marriott Task Force, along with their teams, orchestrated the effort. The hotel's efforts paid off after Marriott International awarded the JW Marriott Grand Rapids the award of "Hotel Opening of the Year" for 2007.