In less than a week, the "crown jewel" of Westar Place will be open for business.
Three and a half years after it was announced, officials say Westerville's Marriott Renaissance Hotel officially will open its doors Tuesday, May 15, at 409 Altair Parkway.
The 8-story, 222-room building has been under construction since December 2015. It features 7 stories of rooms, a full-service restaurant and bar and more than 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.
Manager Scott Starek said he's been blown away by "how different it is" from other hotels, and he's looking forward to proving the Renaissance isn't "just another hotel."
"It's not your typical hotel that just has some carpet and wallpaper," he said. "Every room, every area has kind of a theme different from the other areas. It's really unique and cool to walk around in."
Jason Bechtold, Westerville's economic-development director, has said he expects the hotel to help attract investment in the Westar area.
He said in an email the city has "been excited about this project from day one."
"A hotel of this stature has been envisioned for this area -- the original 941 acres that began development nearly 20 years ago," he said. "Renaissance has strong brand recognition for service, quality and style, which is a great fit for Westerville. This accelerates the momentum happening right now in Westar."
In a local contest, Westerville resident Chris Carlisle contributed the winning idea for the name of the Renaissance's restaurant. It will be called "the Two-One," in honor of the city's prohibition history as home of the Anti-Saloon League and its connection to the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment's prohibition on alcohol.
Westerville remained a dry community until 2004.
Although he hopes people enjoy the name, Starek said, he hopes the restaurant's quality will stand on its own.
He said he's thinking of the Two-One as a restaurant "that just happens to be in a hotel," rather than one that's "only in place to provide some sort of food for the guests," as is the case in many other hotels.
"It's going to be a little different than what people are used to," he said. "It's not going to be a typical restaurant. We're going to do new things and change things up from time to time and have a really great atmosphere."
Starek said that difference is what he hopes the entire facility will achieve.
He said he's been involved in three hotel openings now, and the feel around the Renaissance is different for a reason.
"That's kind of the whole theme behind the brand Renaissance, doing something different," he said. "You're not going to find another hotel like us, and you're not going to find another bar and restaurant like ours."
Starek said he expects a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening Tuesday, and there likely will be a true "grand-opening" party within the next two months.