New Camelback Inn ballroom showcases Marriott art collection
July 23, 2018
By Marilyn Hawkes
After more than a year of construction, the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa conference center was completed this month. The new space includes the 15,000-square-foot Paradise Ballroom and close to 17,000 square feet of outdoor reception and event areas adjacent to the ballroom.
The conference center will feature floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides, affording guests magnificent views of Mummy Mountain, and a highly anticipated art wall showcasing the Western art collection of J. Willard Marriott, Sr., founder of the Marriott Corporation (now Marriott International, Inc.).
The art now belongs to his son, J. Willard (Bill) Marriott Jr., who retired as CEO in 2012 after close to 50 years. He now serves as executive chairman and chairman of the board.
Marriott Jr., who stays at the Camelback Inn every spring, speaks fondly of how much his father enjoyed going into Old Town Scottsdale to bargain with the gallery owners and traders to get the best deals, according to Jonathan Amato, director of sales and marketing at JW Marriott.
The Marriott Art Wall will include about 40 watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings, as well as a couple of pastels and a lithograph. Many acclaimed Western artists will be represented, including Stan Borack, Louis Benesch, John Clymer and Gerry Metz.
Metz, whose work often depicts pioneers, Native Americans, ranch life and landscapes of the mid-1800s, will be the most represented artist, with 11 watercolor and oil paintings.
The resort currently showcases a variety of bronze sculptures by the late artist Dave McGary, and curators hope to feature a few of his works in the new ballroom. McGary is internationally known for his portrayal of Native Americans in bronze sculpture.
Some of the art wall’s paintings are hanging in Marriott’s current corporate headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, and will be relocated to the Camelback Inn after completion of the company’s new headquarters in 2020.
With the addition of the Paradise Ballroom, the Camelback Inn now boasts about 95,000 square feet of event space. The Marriott Art Wall will connect the Paradise Ballroom and the existing Arizona Ballroom, which is slated for a “facelift” in August, Amato said. The plan is to update the finishes in the Arizona Ballroom to match the new construction.
Next summer, the Camelback Inn will tackle guest room renovations, Amato said. The hotel has 453 rooms spread out over the 125-acre property, which also features a 32,000-square-foot spa, two swimming pools and seven restaurants and lounges.
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is part of Marriott International, Inc., which has more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries and territories.
Locally, Marriott International properties include The Phoenician, Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass and W Scottsdale.