Rockbridge opens Marriott Knoxville Downtown

Rockbridge has opened the Marriott Knoxville Downtown in the city's World’s Fair Park.

At the same time, the Maker Exchange—a hub for Knoxville’s creative community—also has opened. Rockbridge, which also owns the neighboring Tennessean Hotel, led the revitalization of the development that was originally built for the 1982 World’s Fair. 

“The hotel is ideally located at the center of World’s Fair Park, the Knoxville Convention Center, the University of Tennessee, and the downtown district,” said Jim Merkel, CEO, Rockbridge, in a statement. “We are proud to reinvent this destination for the community.” 

The 302-room, full-service hotel has completed a major renovation overseen by development company RBHD. The team included local architect McCarty Holsaple McCarty, construction manager Blaine Construction, and New York-based interior design firm Stonehill Taylor. The hotel has a grand Hearth Room with an oversized fireplace, an independent restaurant and bar; a local, independent coffee shop, the Curio; and meeting and event space. 

“Our goal in this development was to bring the vibrancy of the World’s Fair history back to the neighborhood,” Merkel said. “Maker Exchange, positioned between the two hotels, provides a point of connection for Knoxville’s maker community, for locals who support them, and hotel guests who are drawn to the diverse flavor of the work on display.”

Rockbridge is working with Robin Easter Design to create and inspire the 12,000 sq-ft Maker Exchange space and has engaged Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Alliance to bring the concept to life and connect with the maker community. 

Aimbridge Hospitality will operate the new hotel, alongside its sister property, The Tennessean Hotel.