Marriott International, Inc. announced the commencement of construction on the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center (the Gaylord Pacific). A ceremony was held on Chula Vista Bayfront. The event was attended by the Gaylord Pacific’s developers RIDA Development Corporation (RIDA Development) and Ares Management (Ares), finance partners, officials from the City of Chula Vista, Port of San Diego, and the State of California, Marriott executives, group customers, and other project supporters.
“We are thrilled to announce the growth of the Gaylord Hotels brand with the addition of the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center,” said Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International. “Adding a West Coast group destination of this scale and quality to Marriott’s portfolio will provide our customers the exceptional meetings and events service and design that the Gaylord Hotels brand is known for in a highly desired, premier Southern California location.”
Marriott International will manage the resort and convention center under a long-term management agreement. Russ Mitchell, most recently director of sales and marketing at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, will serve as the director of sales and marketing for the Gaylord Pacific and will lead a team with the goal of pre-booking more than 1.5 million room nights prior to opening.
The Gaylord Pacific is anticipated to have 1,600 hotel rooms, including 89 suites with 12 presidential suites. The project is expected to welcome its first guests in the summer of 2025 and to serve as a component of the Chula Vista Bayfront, located in Chula Vista and within proximity to San Diego.
Master of Ceremonies for the event, Ira Mitzner, CEO of RIDA Development Corp, stated, “The closing of the Gaylord construction loan and the commencement of construction will bring over 10,000 construction jobs and over 4,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs to the state of California. This $1.275 billion project represents the finest of public-private partnership and will create a strong and unique economic engine for the City of Chula Vista, Port of San Diego, and the State of California for many decades to come.”
“We are excited to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Gaylord Pacific and the further expansion of our collaboration with RIDA Development and Marriott,” said Andrew Holm, partner in Ares Real Estate. “We are pleased to have the support from the City of Chula Vista, Port of San Diego, and the State of California, and we look forward to working closely with them to realize the potential benefits for stakeholders in the community.”
Marriott, together with the owner and development led by RIDA Development and a Real Estate fund managed by Ares Management, announced the closing on a $685 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank as co-lead arranger for a nine-bank consortium, including co-lead arranger Bank of America, documentation agents: Fifth Third Bank, Scotia Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and participants: Frost Bank, Goldman Sachs, MidFirst Bank, and Taiwan Business Bank.
A construction loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank as sole lead arranger in the amount of $383 million was secured by the City and Port to support the public investment in the project.
Gaylord Pacific is expected to offer nine signature dining options with more than 418,746 square feet of indoor and outdoor convention center space, inclusive of a flexible 143,553-square-feet, carpeted exhibit hall, up to 62 breakout and conference rooms, five outdoor event lawns, and terraces. Plans for the hotel include a glass lobby atrium with views of the San Diego Bay along with nine restaurants and bars, a full-service Relâche signature spa and salon, and a fitness center. The resort will also have an outdoor waterpark complex with water slides, a wave pool, adult and kid’s pools, and a lazy river as well as pool seating and cabanas.
“Chula Vista deserves the best economic opportunities, and we have always believed our city is worthy of a world-class bayfront. Many years of effort have brought us to this point and I am overjoyed this day has finally come,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “The economic impacts of this investment will reverberate throughout our city and region with the temporary construction jobs but also the 4,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs that will be created.”
Located in Southern California, the Chula Vista Bayfront is a waterfront site located seven miles south of downtown San Diego. The Chula Vista Bayfront will serve as a mixed-use development to be built in phases over several years. The potential economic impact of the project is estimated at more than $14 billion of economic activity for the State of California.
“We celebrate our partnership with RIDA Chula Vista, LLC on this historic day, as we break ground on the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center on the Chula Vista Bayfront,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Dan Malcolm. “As a public-private partnership, this is a model of how government agencies and the private sector can work together. This world-class project will fulfill the great potential of this waterfront site—attracting visitors from throughout the State of California and beyond and creating massive economic impact for our region.”
“The Chula Vista Bayfront in Southern California provides unmatched waterfront views and a unique blend of urban amenities and coastal access. As the largest undeveloped waterfront site on the West Coast, and with proximity to San Diego and the U.S.-Mexico border, our bayfront is attracting national attention as we continue executing a fully approved, shovel-ready master plan,” said Port of San Diego Commissioner Ann Moore, who represents Chula Vista on the seven-member board. “Our selected partner, RIDA Chula Vista, LLC, is developing the bayfront’s most high-profile and desirable site—a defining project for this cherished destination. Our region warmly welcomes the construction of the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center, and we look forward to seeing it take shape along our bayfront skyline.”
Luke Charlton, chief operating officer of RIDA Development Corporation, summarized, “Today’s groundbreaking is the culmination of decades of planning that the City of Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego led with tremendous foresight; knowing the potential that the Bayfront held could only be realized when this complex public-private partnership was completed and the catalyst project, Gaylord Pacific Resort, and Convention Center was under construction. We are grateful for the partnership and support of Ares, Marriott, the Port, the City, and our lenders as we build the future of the Bayfront and are proud to bring this world-class convention resort to Southern California.”
Marriott International currently operates five Gaylord Hotels across Nashville, Tennessee; Kissimmee, Florida; Grapevine, Texas; National Harbor, Maryland; and Aurora, Colorado.