Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marine Museum to Add Hotel and Convention Center

Marines.mil: The creators of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, are now planning to add a hotel and convention center to the museum grounds.

The process came in motion after the foundation submitted the idea to Gen. James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, who in turn recommended it to the Secretary of the Navy, who approved the project. Now the foundation is moving forward to find a developer and operator for the project. There is no time line set for start or completion of the project.

The new hotel and conference center will be located on 10 acres across the parking lot from the museum, near the corner of Joplin Road and Jefferson Davis Highway (U.S. 1).

The hotel will feature 200-250 guest rooms, corporate meeting spaces, an indoor/outdoor pool, a full service restaurant, a fitness center and gift shop, according to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation press release.

Since the museum’s opening in 2006, it has received 1.7 million visitors, according the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ website. A research group out of George Mason University has been evaluating the economics, value and impact of the building project. Previously, the same group assessed if the project was desirable and feasible.

“The feeling is the addition of hotel and particular the convention center will benefit the Marine Corps families and those other groups who visit our grounds,” Christmas said. “We also consulted with entities such as [Marine Corps Combat Development Command] and Marine Corps University. We found they had a great need of a large conference center. So this will be a great venue for the Marines to use at Quantico.”

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