MIDTOWN — Paging King Kong.
The title of the nation's tallest hotel has been claimed by the Midtown Marriott at 1717 Broadway at West 54th Street, standing at a whopping 753 feet.
"This is the tallest dedicated hotel in New York City, in North America, and we think in the western hemisphere," Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday.
The hotel has been accepting guests since Dec. 29.
The new Marriott surpasses Detroit's Renaissance Center, at 727 feet tall, which had held the title of nation's tallest hotel, as well as the New York Four Seasons, which was the city's tallest at 682 feet, hotel reps said.
The hotel property is split between Courtyard by Marriott and the Marriott's Residence Inn. It also has a bistro, a gymnasium, and hopes to open a restaurant by the summer, manager Paul Viapiano said.
"For a Courtyard, this is incredible," said Jesse Tilly, 39, who paid less than $300 for his room. "I have a corner view of Central Park."
Courtyard rooms, which are designed for one- or two-day business trips, start at about $300. Residence Inn rooms, which are designed more for extended stays and come with a small kitchen, start around $350. However, during certain holidays like New Year's Eve, rooms with views of Times Square can go for $1,200, Viapiano said.
New York City's recent hotel boom saw a record high 54 million visitors in 2013. City hotels were at 87 percent occupancy in 2012 and 88 percent in 2013. The new Marriott expects to be at 90 percent for 2014, Sorenson said.
The combined Mariott hotels currently employ about 120 full time staff. They hope to have 160 employees as hotel season gets under way, Viapiano said.
The building on 1717 Broadway is owned by G Holdings, which bought it for $32 million in 2001.
"We were told we overpaid for the site," said Harry Gross, CEO of G Holdings. "It turned out to be OK."
Michelle Knapp, who was visiting from Dallas, said she liked the decorative murals spread throughout elevators, hallways and meeting rooms.
"I'm excited to bring people here to see it," Knapp said, "and that is something you don't normally say about hotels."