• Topping Off Construction at the Austin Marriott Downtown

     
    POSTED February 25, 2020
     

Celebrating the completion of its structural framework, Austin Marriott Downtown hosted a unique “topping off” event in collaboration with local spirit masters Garrison Brothers Distillery. In place of the traditional raising of the final beam ceremony, the hotel raised three Garrison Brothers bourbon barrels via crane onto the hotel’s rooftop. The barrels will remain on the roof throughout the construction period until the hotel’s opening in mid-2020, at which time the hotel’s first guests will be treated to an exclusive Austin Marriott–inspired whiskey tasting.

Austin Marriott Downtown will feature 613 guest rooms (including 25 suites), a rooftop pool and bar, three bars, and two restaurants on the ground level. The hotel will also offer more than 60,000 square feet of meeting space, including an exhibit hall with floor-to-ceiling windows along a 170-foot glass wall. The hotel is located across the street from the Austin Convention Center.

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.