New Albany’s Master Plan Impresses
Q&A with Marriott’s Jody Zitsman
With more than 30 years in the business, Jody Zitsman, Director of Sales at the new Courtyard by Marriott, New Albany’s first business-class hotel, knows a thing or two about the assets that businesses need to succeed. And, she has found them plentiful in New Albany.
What kind of reception have you received from the community?
Everyone has been extremely welcoming. I think that is one of the reasons that New Albany enjoys such a great national reputation and name recognition. It is really a unique environment and we have found that everyone, all of the businesses and the city, work together for the good of New Albany. The kind of public-private cooperation that I have found here is at the heart of strong business communities.
What city assets stand out from a business point of view?
The way the business community has been planned is really stunning. The pods of industries grouped together are impressive. The layout of the business park and the ease of access to the park from the three interchanges off of State Route 161 demonstrate great foresight.
How does that planning pay off for employees and residents?
The city’s planning has made it really easy for both residents and employees to get around, whether you like walking, running, cycling or driving. You’ve got more than 30 miles of bike and hike trails that run from the park through woodlands and meadows as well as to the city center where there are restaurants and shops.
What are some of the unique business-class services you offer?
Our lobby will feature a Go Board, a virtual, interactive concierge that can provide everything from restaurant recommendations and directions to printed boarding passes with the tap of a finger. We have also designed semi-private media pods with TV monitors and multiple outlets to accommodate smaller business meetings of four to six people. Also, we have The Bistro that will be open for both breakfast and dinner with Starbucks offerings 24/7.
The Marriott will be opening soon. Are there any bookings yet?
We have already booked a great deal of business. And, we are finding that we are getting a lot of weekend bookings as well. We are partnering with the New Albany Walking Classic, hosting a pasta dinner the night before the walk and providing shuttle service to and from the event. The city’s other major events and attractions, like the New Albany Grand Prix, the New Albany Country Club, Winding Hollow Country Club and New Albany Links are prompting additional bookings for event guests and wedding guests.
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