Marriott Wardman Park may close for good

This March 1998 file photo shows the Marriott Wardman Park hotel at 2660 Woodley Road Northwest in Washington, D.C. (Photo by James M. Thresher/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

One of D.C.’s largest, oldest and most-storied hotel properties may not survive the COVID-19 pandemic, at least under Marriott International’s management.

The Marriott Wardman Park hotel in D.C.’s Woodley Park neighborhood has been temporarily closed since mid-March.

“Marriott International has provided advance notice to employees, government officials and union officials about a potential closure of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park,” Marriott spokesperson Casey Kennett said in an emailed statement to WTOP.

“The hotel has been temporarily closed since March. At this time, no decision has been made about the hotel’s future operation and reopening, as discussions are ongoing,” Kennett said.

News of the potential permanent closing was first reported by WJLA, which cited members of Local 25, the union representing hotel workers, who were informed of the potential closure during Zoom calls held with more than 500 Wardman Park employees.

The Marriott Wardman Park is the third-largest hotel in the D.C. area, and second biggest in the District, with nearly 1,200 rooms and 196,000 square feet of events space. It ranks in the top 10 for D.C.-area meeting and banquet facilities.

Bethesda, Maryland-based JBGSmith, which owns the Wardman Park property, also confirmed the hotel’s uncertain future.

“The spread of COVID-19 continues to cause unprecedented upheaval throughout the region’s economy. The employees of the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel, which has been closed since March, were notified that the hotel may be closed permanently as a direct result of COVID-9’s long-term impact on the hospitality sector,” JBGSmith said in a statement.

It was constructed in 1917 and 1918, during the height of the Spanish Flu pandemic, and opened on Nov. 23, 1918.

The hotel has been host to presidential balls and home to a long list of politicians and celebrities, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Spiro Agnew, Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Dole and Marlene Dietrich.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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