Ocean City Today

Residence Inn opens for business

Contractor, other troubles kept site silent for years
By Greg Ellison | May 03, 2018
Photo by: Greg Ellison

(May 4, 2018) Roughly four years after groundbreaking, the Marriott Residence Inn & Suites on 61st Street bayside opened for business this week.

General Manage Keith Whisenant said the eight-story, 150-room Residence Inn at 300 Seabay Lane officially went into operation on Monday.

“We opened up yesterday in the afternoon, kind of under the radar,” he said. “We had our first arrival [Tuesday] from Baltimore [and] they were overwhelmed to be the first guests.”

Located on a four-acre parcel that formerly housed the Ocean City Health and Racquet Club, the project was developed by the Inns of Ocean City LLC, which Whisenant said has labored to create a lodging “jewel,” customized for the region.

“The investment from ownership is very prevalent [and] they live to deliver on the Marriott product,” he said. “We’re going to be the number one Residence Inn in every way possible.”

With initial design plans submitted in 2014, the project took significantly longer than anticipated to complete after hitting a snag with initial contractor, Berlin-based Sens Mechanical Inc. In late November 2016, contractor Whiting-Turner was selected to shuttle the project to fruition.

In contrast to the prolonged construction time, Whisenant said since hiring management staff roughly three months ago, an inordinate amount of personal effort has been invested to bring the new resort online.

“I’ve never seen a team come together and work with such effort and pride,” he said. “I don’t have a weak link.”

After nearly a quarter century in the lodging industry, Whisenant has a clear vision for the new entity.

“We’re here to make people happy,” he said. “We’re a Marriott property and we will deliver a Marriott product and service level.”

Plans are still being formulated for a grand opening ceremony later this year, Whisenant said.

“We’re hoping to be a strong steward to the community and our guests,” he said. “This hotel is a place that will rival any on the planet.”

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