Tourism officials: New hotel downtown to bring new visitors to M - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Tourism officials: New hotel downtown to bring new visitors to Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Downtown Madison now has a new hotel, which tourism officials say they've been hoping for, to bring more people to town.

Marriott leaders cut the ribbon Friday morning on their new, AC Hotel just off the east side of the Capitol Square. It's the first AC in Wisconsin-- part of a new line in the U.S. There are only 20 across the country but 60 to 70 more are being built. Company officials tell 27 News they wanted to bring the new brand to a place with a growing economy, so they chose Madison. 

Tourism experts say it's a great location, right in the heart of everything downtown, and near a neighborhood that's growing and being revitalized right now.

"We have a lot of new development going on on East Washington, so this really creates a really lovely sort of capstone at the top of the hill for that side of the whole square, which is just growing in leaps and bounds," says Diane Morgenthaler, executive vice president with Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Morgenthaler says another downtown hotel could also help Monona Terrace book bigger conferences, bringing more people to the area, which would also boost business. It's within walking distance, which is a big draw for convention visitors.

Marriott International's president and CEO Arne Sorenson thinks it'll be a great addition for people who live in Madison, too.

"You can become sort of a center of the community, if you will, a meeting place not just for travelers but for locals as well, and that seemed to fit very well here," Sorenson tells 27 News.

This hotel brings 160 new rooms to downtown, with several hundred more also coming to the Madison area this year.

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