Marriott breaks ground on Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center

Marriott International kicked off construction on the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center this week in Chula Vista, Calif. The more than 500-acre Chula Vista Bayfront will be the site of the anticipated 1.8 million-square-foot Gaylord Pacific, Gaylord's first West Coast location.

The groundbreaking event was attended by the Gaylord Pacific’s developers RIDA Development Corp. and Ares Management; finance partners; officials from the City of Chula, Port of San Diego and State of California; Marriott executives; group customers; and project supporters.

“We are thrilled to announce the growth of the Gaylord Hotels brand with the addition of the Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center,” Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano said in a statement. “Adding a West Coast group destination of this scale and quality to Marriott’s portfolio will provide our customers the exceptional meetings and events service and design that the Gaylord Hotels brand is known for in a highly desired, premier Southern California location.”

Marriott International will manage the resort and convention center under a long-term management agreement. Russ Mitchell, most recently director of sales and marketing at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, will be director of sales and marketing for the Gaylord Pacific and will lead a team with the goal of pre-booking more than 1.5 million room nights prior to opening.

The Gaylord Pacific is anticipated to have 1,600 hotel rooms, including 89 suites with 12 presidential suites. The project is expected to welcome its first guests in the summer 2025 and to serve as a key component of the Chula Vista Bayfront, located in Chula Vista and within close proximity to San Diego. The resort will have 360-degree views with San Diego Bay to the west and Chula Vista Marina to the south providing unobstructed views across the bay and on to the Pacific Ocean.

“The closing of the Gaylord construction loan and the commencement of construction will bring over 10,000 construction jobs and over 4,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs to the state of California," said Ira Mitzner, CEO of RIDA Development Corp. "This $1.275 billion project represents the finest of public-private partnership and will create a strong and unique economic engine for the City of Chula Vista, Port of San Diego and State of California for many decades to come.”

Marriott, together with the owner and development led by RIDA Development and a real estate fund managed by Ares Management, announced the closing on a $685 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank as co-lead arranger for a nine-bank consortium, including co-lead arranger Bank of America, documentation agents: Fifth Third Bank, Scotia Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and participants: Frost Bank, Goldman Sachs, MidFirst Bank, and Taiwan Business Bank.

“We are excited to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Gaylord Pacific and the further expansion of our collaboration with RIDA Development and Marriott,” said Andrew Holm, partner in Ares Real Estate. “We are pleased to have the support from the City of Chula Vista, Port of San Diego, and the State of California, and we look forward to working closely with them to realize the potential benefits for stakeholders in the community.”

A construction loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank as sole lead arranger in the amount of $383 million was secured by the City and Port to support the public investment in the project.

Gaylord Pacific is expected to offer nine signature dining options with more than 418,746-square-feet of indoor and outdoor convention center space, inclusive of a flexible 143,553-square-feet, carpeted exhibit hall, up to 62 technologically advanced breakout and conference rooms, five outdoor event lawns and terraces. Plans for the hotel include an expansive, glass lobby atrium with spectacular views of the San Diego Bay along with nine restaurants and bars, full-service Relâche signature spa and salon, and a fitness center. The resort is also slated to feature a premium outdoor waterpark complex with water slides, a full wave pool, adult and kid’s pools, and a lazy river as well as ample pool seating and cabanas.

Marriott International currently operates five Gaylord Hotels across Nashville; Kissimmee, Fla.; Grapevine, Texas; National Harbor, Mary.; and Aurora, Colo.