AC Hotel ribbon-cutting ceremony (center group, left to right): Alisa Faulk, Brian Schreiber, Stephanie Kumpf, and Amanda Smith.

    AC Hotel ribbon-cutting ceremony (center group, left to right): Alisa Faulk, Brian Schreiber, Stephanie Kumpf, and Amanda Smith.

    It has been reported by multiple news sources that Pittsburgh’s downtown area is currently in the midst of a hotel-construction boom. Over the last decade, there have been approximately $4 billion worth of active or planned hotel projects and there are currently 28 hotel projects under construction valued at about $1 billion. With its proximity to the city’s downtown, as well as its vibrant commercial and tourism offerings, it is no surprise that the Strip District naturally fits as a desired hotel destination and was chosen as the perfect location to build the new AC Hotel.

    Now part of the Marriott brand, AC Hotels are described by the company as being “spaces built from the ground up with a visionary’s spirit and designer’s eye, and focused on the essentials of a beautiful and unique experience.” This “new way to hotel” exceptionally fits into the Strip District and epitomizes the brand’s noted desire to share the “unique buzz” of the cities where they are located.

    The AC Hotel brand constructs all of its buildings with the belief that purposeful design improves its patrons’ (and hopefully everyone’s) lives. This philosophy that everything should have a “why” guides the hotel brand’s business model, and as a result it strives to strip away the unnecessary and uncover beauty in the essentials. The brand was founded in Spain in 1998 by hotelier Antonio Catalan. The founder’s initials inspired the chain’s name, and in 2014 locations were launched in the United States; they are described as having Spanish roots, a European soul, and a global mindset.

    AC Hotel Pittsburgh

    According to Andrew Shaw, regional vice president of Sales and Marketing for Concord Hospitality, the Strip District was chosen due to its proximity to the convention center and downtown, as well as its food, beverage, and entertainment options. “Also, the hotel was built to partner with the Strip’s growth in all economic segments—quite simply, it’s an exciting place to be!”

    Pittsburgh’s AC Hotel offers a truly unique and awe-inspiring view from its seventh floor, which is where all the public space is located. In fact, Level7 (the hotel’s lounge), the meeting space, and the reception area are all on the seventh floor and have floor-to-ceiling windows. “The hotel itself has five flexible function rooms that are also surrounded by glass and awesome views,” says Shaw. The Level7 lounge offers signature local drinks and Tapas-style food, with an outdoor patio that can hold about 40 people. “Since the AC Pittsburgh is a Marriott brand, we are proud to welcome Marriott Rewards members to this exciting and unique hotel!” he adds.

    AC Hotel Pittsburgh

    The AC Pittsburgh Hotel’s official grand opening celebration is still currently in the planning stages, but will be held on October 4, 2018. The hotel recently opened for business on July 26, 2018, and included several celebration events. Shaw explains, “On the day before the July opening, there was a tribute to the hotel staff and management team. Plus, Marriott trainers held a fashion show in which the associates wore their new uniforms and were able to present them in an upbeat runway style.”

    The July opening day itself kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by the general manager, Alisa Faulk; Concord Hospitality’s SVP of Human Capital, Debra Punke; and CEO and president of VisitPittsburgh, Craig Davis. After the ribbon cutting, all attendees were treated to samplings of Level7’s food and drink specials—and the first hotel guest was welcomed at about 5:30 p.m.

    AC Hotel Pittsburgh

    The AC Pittsburgh is located at 1126 Smallman Street in the Strip. The hotel and Level7 lounge can also be liked and followed on Facebook and Instagram. Additional information can be found at achotels.marriott.com/hotels/ac-hotel-pittsburgh-downtown or by calling 412-281-9300.

    Christopher Cussat is a freelance writer who is still recovering from his extensive “research” for this article. Read more of his work at cussat.com.