February 15, 2001

Marriott Opens Near Tompkins County Airport

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Visitors to the Ithaca area will now find a new choice in moderately-priced accommodations. On Dec. 4, 2000, Marriott International opened a 106-room hotel two minutes from the Tompkins County Airport.

The Ithaca Courtyard features an indoor swimming pool, shuttle service to and from Cornell, a restaurant, gift shop, and exercise facilities. Additionally, the Courtyard has a meeting room capable of accommodating up to 50 people.

A primary goal of the Ithaca Courtyard is to foster strong ties with Cornell, specifically with the School of Hotel Administration.

“We are trying to develop a strong relationship with the people at the Cornell Hotel School,” said Brian Terry, general manager of the Ithaca Courtyard. “The Statler is a Marriott training facility, and it’s a benefit for us to use people from that program.”

Terry commented that at least one student from the School of Hotel Administration is currently employed by the Ithaca Courtyard, working as a front-desk receptionist.

The meeting room at the Ithaca Courtyard is also used by Cornell staff, although on a fairly limited basis, according to Tom LiVigne, manager of operations for Cornell Real Estate.

“The Marriott Courtyard doesn’t have the facilities for large conferences,” LiVigne said. “We do use their meeting room for smaller meetings, if we have 10 or 12 people who need to meet.”

Marriott International also chose Ithaca as the site for its newest Courtyard based on a demand for hotel accommodations in the area, according to Terry. While many think Ithaca is already saturated with hotel rooms, in actuality the market is not even close to capacity, Terry said.

“There had not been a lot of new building in the area,” Terry said. “We thought we had a quality product that would be well received.”

Cornell students were quick to point out the potential benefits of the Ithaca Courtyard.

“I’m really excited about the Marriott coming to Ithaca,” Nicole Manning ’03 said. “My parents always have a hard time making reservations during Cornell’s busiest seasons, so I think they’ll really appreciate it.”

Additional hotel rooms could provide more options for Cornell parents concerned about graduation accommodations. According to Terry, the Courtyard differs drastically from other area hotels in the way it handles these reservations.

“We only accept graduation reservations one year in advance,” Terry said. “The good news is that we have openings for next year, the year after that, and so on. Obviously, we are sold out for this year’s graduation. 2002 graduation reservations will be opening for sale on June 21 at 10 a.m.”

The Ithaca Courtyard is on a positive track, Terry said, and Courtyard management is confident the trend will continue.

“We’ll always be a fair hotel and provide a good product,” Terry said.

Archived article by Abigail Conover