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MERRILL HOTEL AT NIGHT (copy)

The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center joined Marriott International under the hotel company's Tribute Portfolio collection.

MUSCATINE — The new boutique hotel in downtown Muscatine just announced it has joined with the world's largest hotel company.

The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center is now operating under the Tribute Portfolio collection of Marriott International hotels and lodging. The announcement came Monday in a news release from the hotel.

The $42 million, four-star hotel, named after HON Industries chairman and CEO Stanley Merrill Howe, opened last March at 119 W. Mississippi Drive with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony in April.

Owner Riverview Hotel Development LLC and management Hostmark Hospitality Group will remain the same despite the merger, according to the hotel. 

Rebecca Howe, president of Riverview Hotel Development said, "We look forward to providing an unforgettable experience for the modern traveler seeking local experiences and top-of-the-line customer service."

The Merrill was named the best hotel in Iowa by U.S. News and World Report earlier this year. It also holds the AAA Four Diamond rating and accreditation from the International Association of Conference Centers — the only hotel in the state with those distinctions.

The six-floor building features 122 guest rooms and suites, and a conference center made of 16 meeting rooms and the grand ballroom on the top floor with a walk-out terrace. Amenities also include an indoor heated saltwater pool, lounge, fitness center, gift shop, a 100-space parking garage and Maxwell's, a full-service restaurant.

Funding for the hotel was provided in part by the Howe Investment Fund, China Window and Global Center Group, Kent Corp. and Miller Howard Investment Fund. A state hotel tax rebate program, Iowa Reinvestment District, is expected to add approximately $10 million over 20 years and a TIF district approved by the city also contributed to funding.

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