Corporate Caterers of Wichita to do catering at Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town

WICHITA — Ben Arnold and his Corporate Caterers of Wichita have taken over catering at the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town.

Larkspur previously handled it.

This makes Arnold’s sixth either exclusive or preferred catering deal at area hotels and McConnell Air Force Base.

“It’s very similar to what we’re doing at the Drury,” Arnold says.

There isn’t a restaurant, though, like the struggling AVI Seabar & Chophouse at the Drury.

“Oh, no, no,” Arnold says. The Marriott deal is strictly for catering. Or, as Arnold puts it, “The money side of it.”

If the Machinists get thirsty, the PumpHouse is ready

WICHITA — Last year, PumpHouse owner Jim Ross was a tad unprepared for what to expect when Machinists union members rallied in front of the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town, which happens to be across from his bar and restaurant.

“It was a very busy, loud day,” Ross says. “Most of our beer was gone at the end of the day.”

So this year, he’s ready.

There’s a Machinists rally at 4 p.m. Friday in the same spot since contract negotiations have been ongoing at the Marriott and the Hotel at Old Town.

“This year, we’ve kind of geared up a little better.”

Ross prefers not to talk shop about unions or anything related to the rally.

“I’m just selling beer. That’s all I do.”

WaterWalk may be home to a Marriott hotel

WICHITA — It looks like a hotel could be coming to WaterWalk, but no one is talking about it yet — at least not publicly.

Hotel developer Jim Korroch may be bringing a Marriott flag hotel to the property.

Korroch also owns the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town and the SpringHill Suites by Marriott next to his Residence Inn by Marriott in the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich.

As early as 2004, WaterWalk developers discussed having a hotel at the downtown development as long as it didn’t hurt the city’s business at the Hyatt Regency Wichita next door.

Now, former minority partner Jack DeBoer is in control of the struggling development, and it looks like he’s trying to secure a deal.

But, as is his new policy, DeBoer won’t confirm or deny anything to do with WaterWalk until it’s a done deal.

Several previous deals have been announced for the project only to not materialize.

The city may be involved in the potential WaterWalk hotel.

“I will confirm that we’re looking . . . at a possible hotel project,” says City Manager Bob Layton.

He won’t say what the potential deal is or that it’s even with Korroch or WaterWalk.

“Our discussions are very preliminary.”

Mosley Street Market set to open

There are already a lot of meet-and-greet spots in Old Town, so why not add a “swap-meet-style enterprise,” too.

That’s how Lonna Chappelle and Vikki Stone are describing their new Mosley Street Market, which opens May 8 at 312 N. Mosley next to the Courtyard by Marriott at Old Town.

“It is a flea market-type venue,” Chappelle says. “We’re going to have new merchandise, antiques, collectibles. We’re trying to get local artists and crafts people.”

The 15,000-square-foot building has room for about 50 vendors. So far, 15 have signed up for the 144-square-foot, $70 spaces.

“We know with the amount of Wichitans out of work right now, a lot of them have hobbies, a lot of them are very talented craft people,” Chappelle says. “We wanted to be able to offer them an affordable venue where they could display and sell their items.”

Read More »

SpringHill Suites by Marriott set to open

The first of three new east-side hotels will open later this month.

Jim Korroch’s SpringHill Suites by Marriott will open April 17 next to his Residence Inn by Marriott at the Plazzio development at 13th and Greenwich.

In addition to more hotels in the area, Korroch says, “Certainly, there’s been a downturn in demand as well.”

He’s not worried, though.

“I just believe that over time it’s going to be a really good investment,” he says.

The project has gone especially smoothly, too.

Read More »