JW Marriott Austin opens

Austin’s largest hotel, the JW Marriott at Second Street and Congress Avenue, opened. The building is 34 stories and has more than 1,000 rooms. The hotel also has three restaurants.

The opening is helping curb demand in Austin, where occupancy in 2014 grew at its slowest level in five years because no new, significant hotels opened. The new JW Marriott could potentially cause hotels to drop room rates to remain competitive.

There will be a ceremonial “first check-in” at 10 a.m. at the JW Marriott Friday, as the hotel welcomes Maj. Walter Engle, who is based at Fort Hood, and his family. Engle has served in the Army for more than 18 years and has been deployed eight times. The JW Marriott Austin donated a weekend stay at the hotel for his family, including his wife and three children, in appreciation for his service to our country.

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