City approves new management for Courtyard and Pere Marquette

By Audrey Wise

July 1, 2014 Updated Jul 2, 2014 at 9:21 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Peoria is now scheduled to open July 18, under a new third-party management company.

In a special meeting Tuesday night, the Peoria City council approved a management switch for both the Courtyard and the Marriott Pere Marquette.

The vote was nine to two with Councilman Weaver and Montelongo voting against the change.

The change is from Marriott International to First Hospitality Group out of Rosemont, Illinois.

The city was the last lender to approve the change.

The Mayor and the developer think maybe FHG should have been managing since the start.

"I don't look at this like we're getting the 'b' team to operate this hotel. I think they're going to prove a lot of people's skepticism wrong. The proof will be out there and we're going to hold them accountable," said Mayor Jim Ardis.

Hotel developer Gary Matthews said, "I really feel that we could have done a much better job trying to do the local marketing, local hiring and certainly focusing on the civic center and I never had that feel from Marriott International."

The Marriott International management group supports this move.

The hotels will remain under the Marriott franchise flag for the next 30 years.

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