Bethesda Marriott Hotel in Montgomery County, Maryland Celebrates 30th Anniversary

December 16, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Bethesda, Md. December 16, 2009 - Long-time Montgomery County locals can't help but turn nostalgic upon the announcement that the Bethesda Marriott hotel is celebrating its 30 anniversary. As the first hotel in Montgomery County in 1979, this Bethesda, Maryland hotel has seen many changes over its lifetime.

The Bethesda Marriott hotel has done its part to help Montgomery County evolve from an out-of-the-way suburb into a thriving economic, business and residential stronghold. As a sign of the hotel industry's growth, Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) statistics show that room rental tax revenue in FY78 was $947,000, as compared to $18 million in 2008. As the sole hotel in Montgomery County, the Bethesda Marriott's success bred competition, with the Hyatt and the Crown Plaza both making their way into the county landscape in Bethesda and Rockville, respectively. Today Montgomery County, Maryland is dotted with numerous hotels providing an abundance of options for travelers.

In addition to the expanded meeting and event space that the Bethesda Marriott hotel boasts thanks to a series of renovations, the most recent of which was completed last year, the hotel has secured itself as a prime wedding and meeting destination in the county. "We continue to be a major force in the event planning arena," says Brian Hilger, general manager at the Bethesda Marriott. "We can accommodate events large and small in our multitude of space options from our large ballrooms to our intimate private dining room in our Agio restaurant."

Although the physical hotel has changed and expanded over the years, a core group of hotel staff have remained. Mohammad Karzai has been with the Bethesda hotel for 27 years. He began his Marriott career as a server in the famed Konai Kai restaurant, and now is serving the next generation of patrons in Agio, the hotel's new Italian restaurant.

"I remember Mr. Marriott and his family coming in to the Kona Kai and we reserved them the same table every Sunday for the brunch," says Mr. Karzai. "He knew us by name and remembered our stories, so whenever he came in, he'd ask about my family." Mr. Karzai, an immigrant from Afghanistan, credits the Marriott Corporation for getting his start in the United States.

Agio was unveiled last year and has already gained a reputation for its Italian-American cuisine. Executive Chef George Nkulenu prides himself on using the freshest ingredients and creative presentations that he developed from his culinary experiences that have taken him around the globe. Restaurant business is up 30 to 40 percent since Agio's opening.

The Bethesda Marriott is celebrating its 30th anniversary of service to the community this year. The Bethesda hotel completed extensive renovations recently that included the addition of a new ballroom, newly redecorated guest rooms, and fitness center. This hotel in Bethesda boasts 27 meeting rooms and 18,500 square feet of total meeting space. More details about this Montgomery County hotel can be found at The hotel is located at 5151 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD.