FORT WORTH, Texas, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Former New York Yankee great Don Mattingly "threw out the first pitch" at the grand opening celebration of Courtyard by Marriott's 300th hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. The ceremony highlighted the chain's national baseball-themed program, "Courtyard Hits 300," which links the top batting average at the midseason break with a contribution to The Children's Health Fund. The fund, which Mattingly has supported since 1988, provides primary health care to homeless and disadvantaged children. Mattingly was the leading hitter at the celebration, which featured top Marriott executives and some of the children who benefit from The Children's Health Fund in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. On July 7, Courtyard will donate $500 per batting average point above .300 by the leading professional hitter at the midseason break, with a minimum contribution of $30,000. "Even as we celebrate out 300th hotel milestone and our achievements of the past year, we intend to continue raising the bar for our competition," said Craig Lambert, brand vice president of Courtyard by Marriott. He noted that the brand will introduce the first Marriott hotel in Alaska when the Anchorage Courtyard opens in June, and it will open its first hotel in Canada, the Montreal Courtyard, in July. The Fossil Creek Courtyard marks a milestone in the growth of the Courtyard brand in Texas and internationally. Thirteen years ago, Marriott introduced the first moderately priced hotel designed for business travelers when it launched the Courtyard by Marriott hotel chain. Since that time, Courtyard has defined the moderately priced hotel segment and leads the competition in quality of product and delivery of service. The brand is consistently ranked among the top in industry surveys, and was recently voted by the readers of Frequent Flyer magazine as the nation's favorite hotel chain. "Courtyard has always been a leading player in the hotel industry," said Mattingly. "Celebrating this 300th hotel milestone and raising money for The Children's Health Fund at the same time is especially gratifying for me and for the entire Courtyard team." The 300th opening marks a decade of steady growth for the chain, in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex, in Texas and internationally. During the last 18 months, Courtyard has opened four locations in Fort Worth and 11 in Texas. It also opened six additional hotels in the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of Courtyard locations in the country to 1O. "Courtyard Hits 300" was created as part of the chain's celebration of the Fossil Creek opening. The integrated marketing campaign includes an interactive promotion via Courtyard's World Wide Web site (www.courtyard.com), a contest for employees, advertising, and baseball-themed radio promotions. The Web promotion offers guests and Internet browsers a chance to win baseball-themed prizes and trips. Courtyard has always considered consumer feedback an important element of the development of the hotel chain. The Courtyard concept was actually based on what business travelers, often the most discerning travelers, wanted and needed in a hotel. Known as the hotel designed by business travelers, it offers spacious rooms that provide guests with important work space amenities such as a large work desk, ergonomic chair, dataport and a voice mail system that allows for personal addressing and outside retrieval of messages. Courtyard by Marriott has 300 hotels in 40 states throughout the nation and the District of Columbia, with 1O locations in the United Kingdom. Courtyard by Marriott is a division of Marriott International Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., a diversified hospitality company involved in lodging and services management.
SOURCE Courtyard by Marriott