STAMFORD — Monday evening will mark the second time President Barack Obama has visited the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa on Tresser Boulevard for an election-season fundraiser.
General Manager Joe Kelly, who first welcomed the president to his hotel for a fundraiser in support of then-Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal in September 2010, said last week he is excited to once again host the nation’s 44th president. Between 450 and 500 people are expect to attend the cocktail reception, which will cost $500 per ticket and $10,000 for a photograph with Obama.
“I’ve met a few (presidents) but I’ve never met one twice before so this is something new,” Kelly said by phone Friday. “We’re excited to be the host again. It’s a great privilege.”
But what is the price for putting up the president? Do the unparalleled levels of security hinder or hurt business for the host venues? Kelly said a visit from the president demands special accommodations, but ultimately the events’ benefits outweigh any inconveniences.
“There’s extra costs involved due to the volume of people and the security processes,” he said. “But at the same time it gives great exposure to the hotel. We’ve really kind of established ourselves as the preferred hotel when it comes to these larger political events, which is good for us.
“There’s a fair amount of advance work that goes into this that is helpful to us,” Kelly said. “In the form of people who are arriving in advance of the event.”
Kelly said the hotel tries to warn non-presidential guests ahead of time that the evening will be busier than usual.
“There are arrangements to make sure our hotel guests can check in without any hassles,” he said. “It doesn’t have a negative impact on our occupancy. We’re just informing our regular guests who are with us every week that there’s probably going to be delays in downtown so plan accordingly just to get back to the hotel at night.”