HOUSTON - It's one of the signs the Super Bowl is just a few weeks away - the Marriott Marquis opened it's doors downtown on Monday.
The first guests were greeted with champagne and cookies. "We had to come check it out, the grand kids are with us," said Kathleen Price, one of the first guests checking in.
It will soon be home to Super Bowl guests, but Monday the Marriott Marquis was a getaway for local Houstonians, like the Price family looking for a little post-holiday vacation. What caught their eye was the Texas-shaped pool.
"We've just been seeing all the pictures and hearing all about the lazy river it just looks like it's going to be iconic Texas and sounds like fun," says Price.
The 1,000 room hotel boasts 40 suites, 6 restaurants and will be Houston's headquarters for the Super Bowl.
"It's been busy just because we are doing everything for the first time we've got associates that have only had a couple weeks of training in their particular areas, learning where things are the salt shakers, the front desk and all that kind of stuff," said Scot Cotton, General Manager.
These grand kids don't mind being the guinea pigs, they're just happy for a sneak peak of all the Super Bowl action. "That's why we are here now, because we obviously can't come then, so we wanted to check it out," said Price.
Rooms go for around $300 a night. However, this week you can get them cheaper with all the discounts being offered.
Also open inside the hotel is a two-story sports bar Biggio's. It's a partnership between former Astros star Craig Biggio and the Marriott. It's also taking reservations for Super Bowl week.
This is the seventh Marriott Marquis hotel in the world, and the owners wanted something that no one else had.
Mayor Sylvester Turner helped to light up the pool Monday evening.
The hotel itself is across from the George R. Brown Convention Center and next door to Discovery Green, so it’s right in the middle of all of the Super Bowl action happening off the field.
But once the big game has left town, it’s also a place those who run it hope will bring in extra conventions.
“Super Bowl’s one weekend. To be very honest with you, there’s a lot of revenue we have to make that’s not just the Super Bowl. Super Bowl’s great to be able to expose ourselves,” Jay Marsella, director of marketing for Marriott Marquis, said.
There’s also a 12,000 square foot infinity pool that’s been overshadowed just a little bit by all of the hype.