Monday’s news that Marriott International is buying the Starwood hotel chain in a $12.2 billion deal didn’t faze hotelier Jim Korroch, who is helping Great Plains Ventures open a Starwood property in Wichita.
“Starwood and Marriott have two of the very top … guest loyalty programs,” Korroch says.
He says it’s huge that Starwood guests will now have Marriott properties as choices and that Marriott guests can use Starwood properties.
“It just makes it a gigantic loyalty program that gives people options,” he says. “That’s the biggest thing.”
Great Plains Ventures is building a 127-room Aloft Wichita Northeast hotel on its property north of K-96 and just east of Oliver.
Korroch is helping develop the hotel and then will act as asset manager to ensure that the property’s management company then does its job.
He’s owned or been involved with a number of Marriott properties through the years, so Korroch says that will help him with the transition.
“Without question,” he says, calling Marriott’s people and product “among the very, very best.”
Korroch isn’t yet sure of all the ways the Marriott deal could affect the property.
“The news is so fresh.”
He does know, though, that Aloft will use Marriott’s reservation system and follow its policies.
“It’ll certainly affect it from that standpoint,” Korroch says.
“We don’t know about the naming yet,” he says. “It might be Aloft by Marriott or something along those lines.”
Korroch says the announcement won’t slow down Aloft’s construction.
“We’re just business as usual at this point,” he says. “We certainly expect to break ground yet this year.”
Korroch says the hotel will take about a year to build.
“That’s what we’re on track for.”