Opelika / Auburn Hotel Named Marriott Hotel of the Year

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Auburn hotel's excellent track record of guest and employee satisfaction earn the hotel top honors in North America

The Auburn/Opelika area is on a winning streak. U.S. News & World Report named the area one of the 10 best locations to live in the country. Golf World readers named it the number one location for public golf in the country. Now Marriott International has named the Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center at Grand National as the #1 franchise Marriott hotel in North America. The Auburn hotel's "Hotel of the Year" Award is selected based on the hotel's guest satisfaction, market share, employee opinion surveys and financial performance.

"This honor is a tribute to the hard work of our associates every day," said Jay Prater, general manager of the Marriott Hotel in Auburn, Alabama. "They work hard every day to meet and exceed our guests' expectations and this award shows they are doing it consistently. Being named Hotel of the Year is quite an honor and would not be possible without their efforts and the dedication of our owners, the Retirement Systems of Alabama. From having a great hotel to the country's best golf and now an upscale residential option at National Village, RSA and Dr. David G. Bronner are committed to bringing the best of the best to this area, as these national recognitions demonstrate."

In addition to Hotel of the Year, the Auburn, AL hotel's distinctions include the Most Improved Market Share Excellence Award and the Spirit to Serve Our Community Awards. The Market Share Excellence Award recognizes the improvements in 2008 over the previous year.

"The Spirit to Serve Our Community Award is a result of the grassroots efforts we are doing to make a difference in the area and beyond," said Prater. "From raising money for the March of Dimes and United Way to helping with the Christian Women's Job Corps and helping individuals with disabilities learn new job skills, our hotel and associates are glad to be making a difference," said Prater. "Their efforts have even been felt across the globe with the 1,000 hats collected and distributed by the military to children in Iraq."

The Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center is part the Resort Collection on Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Other hotels and resorts include the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa in Florence; Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Birmingham; Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel & Spa in Prattville; Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center; Battle House, a Renaissance Hotel & Spa in Mobile; Renaissance Riverview Plaza in Mobile; and the Grand Hotel Marriott Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear. In addition to the awards to the Auburn/Opelika Marriott, the Resort Collection also won several other awards, including Marriott General Manager of the Year (David Clark at the Grand Hotel) and Renaissance General Manager of the Year (Steve Miller at Ross Bridge). "Collectively, the hotels and resorts on the RTJ Golf Trail won 11 major awards, which is unheard of in this industry," said Prater. The Golf Trail and its Resort Collection are owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. For more information about this award-winning property, visit the Marriott Opelika Auburn hotel's website at: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/csgab-auburn-marriott-opelika-hotel-and-conference-center-at-grand-national/

Media Contact: Bill Lang, (205) 965-9574; bill.lang (at) pchresorts.com; A complete list of the awards received by the RTJ Resort Collection is available. Please let us know if you are interested in doing interviews or need any photos or other background information.

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Max Lang
Marriott
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