JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
Challenge: Marriott International and Miller Global Properties set their sights on San Antonio to be the location for the largest JW Marriott Resort in the world. After many years of planning and negotiations with the city, county, state and PGA TOUR, the project was set for completion in March of 2010. During a time when the national economy was troubled, this property was to open with the same grand style, outstanding service and philanthropic culture befitting of a Marriott International resort. Though San Antonio is known as a popular destination city, the new resort was not intended to compete with local properties, but designed to bring new visitors to the region who most likely would have traveled elsewhere.
KGBTexas was retained to introduce the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa to the national leisure and hospitality industries as well as the Texas community. The agency worked with national, regional and local media to keep them informed of developments at the property as it moved from the construction phase to completion. KGBTexas introduced the property and its many best-in-class features to major national publications, freelance travel writers, online travel reviewers and bloggers, and leveraged social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to enhance the resort's personality. Working closely with the property owners and managers, the agency formulated and executed a star-studded grand opening gala that attracted national military, business and social leaders from across the country. The event not only premiered the property, but acted as a fundraiser for several prominent national charities indicative of Marriott International's longstanding "spirit to serve".
The hotel opened on Jan. 22, 2010 to rave reviews and garnered record setting media coverage for the Marriott organization. But that was just the beginning. The Grand Opening Salute gala and weekend held March 19-21, 2010 brought over 1,000 guests to commemorate the launch of the resort and raised close to $1 million for the Fisher House Foundation, Center for the Intrepid and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. KGBTexas facilitated media partnerships with Texas Monthly, The San Antonio Express-News and KENS 5 — CBS affiliate. During that same month KGBTexas managed a first-ever wedding promotion that partnered the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, TPC San Antonio and The Knot.com (the largest wedding planning site in the world), in a landmark giveaway for a $150,000 dream wedding.
To date, group and leisure sales for the property have far exceeded ownership and management expectations. The property has achieved "sold out" status regularly and rates continue to increase, properly reflecting the demand for such an outstanding destination. KGBTexas continues to manage all public relations and media placement for the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.