EVERETT — Hotel staff and construction workers hustled around the new Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Everett to get the eight-story hotel open — unofficially — on Friday.
The soft opening will give staff time to make sure everything is running smoothly ahead of a formal opening in the coming weeks.
The 156-room hotel is another sign of downtown Everett shaking off economic doldrums. More people are visiting and moving into the city, whose population is forecast to balloon by 40,000 in the next 20 years.
Trends like that made the hotel an attractive investment for its developer, Seattle-based Touchstone Northwest.
“We didn’t feel like we needed to project out five or 10 years to make the hotel make sense,” the firm’s vice president, Jim O’Hanlon told The Daily Herald in 2015. “We wish we could have been open a year ago.”
Touchstone Northwest declined to comment ahead of the hotel’s official opening.
In 2008, the developer edged out Everett-based Skotdal Real Estate to turn a city-owned parking lot at the corner of Wall Street and Colby Avenue into a hotel. However, the project was delayed for several years because of the global recession.
It was hard to miss the project once construction began. It sprawled into the adjacent streets, and construction cranes towered overhead. That is all gone now.
It is the second hotel to open in downtown Everett in recent years. A Hampton Inn opened in 2014 a few blocks to the west. The Port of Everett’s plans to redevelop much of the city’s waterfront includes a mid-market hotel, as well as a boutique one.
More hotels outside downtown Everett have opened in recent years or are going up now. A five-story hotel is going up in Marysville near I-5, and construction began in June on a four-story WoodSpring Suites on Broadway south of downtown.
The WoodSpring hotel is the first of 25 that WoodSpring Suites and Bellevue-based developer West77 Partners hope to build in Washington. It is slated to open in mid-January.
In recent years, several other hotels have opened in the area, including a Best Western Plus in Arlington, a Homeward Suites by Hilton in Lynnwood and one at Angel of the Winds casino in Arlington.
InnVentures manages the Everett Courtyard by Marriott for Touchstone Northwest. The Tukwila-based company also runs the Lynnwood Homewood Suites and TowerPlace Suites by Marriott in Mukilteo.