Former AAHOA chairman leads group opening new hotel in downtown Phoenix


The 199-room, 13-floor AC Hotel by Marriott that opened on February 18 at Arizona Center in Phoenix is a double first; it’s the first upscale select service boutique hotel in the city’s downtown, and it’s also the first joint venture between Dallas-based NewcrestImage and Las Vegas-based LaPour Partners.

“The word ‘phoenix’ symbolizes renewal, progress, and hope,” said Mehul Patel, NewcrestImage Chairman and CEO and past AAHOA Chairman. “This new hotel in the heart of downtown Phoenix is a powerful symbol of our company’s and our industry’s renewal, progress, and hope; we’re providing travelers with the comfort they want and the safety they deserve.”

According to Jeff LaPour, President of LaPour Partners, “Vibrant art, sophisticated furnishings, and state-of-the-art technology – that’s what the AC brand represents, and we’ve brought together all these qualities plus much more to create an elegant, modern travel experience in an urban environment.”

The AC Hotel in downtown Phoenix blends contemporary, minimalistic European design with the latest high-tech amenities. In guest rooms, for example, sleek “floating” furniture enables travelers to use space as suits their needs, while public areas feature dramatic locally-commissioned artwork alongside finishes of wood and stone accented by chrome.

Amenities include a penthouse fitness center with multiple hydration stations; an outdoor patio with fireplaces and water features; and a lobby lounge offering tapas, crafted cocktails, and a “porron” wine experience that uses a special Spanish glass pitcher so everyone can drink from the same container without touching it with their lips.

Also available at the hotel is almost 5,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, including a ballroom, two media salons, and a board room.

The AC Hotel is the crown jewel of Arizona Center, a million square-foot mixed use development of shopping, entertainment, dining, and prime office space. Within convenient walking distance are destinations such as the Phoenix Convention Center; the state capital complex; Phoenix Suns Arena; and Chase Field, home of professional baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks.

Other nearby attractions include three theatre and music venues, as well as four college campuses, such as Arizona State University Downtown and the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

“The AC in Phoenix stands out with its attractive style and unique resources in a way that fits in with the hip cosmopolitan community where we do business,” said LaPour, whose company has operated the AC Hotel Phoenix Biltmore since 2018.

Collaborating with NewcrestImage and LaPour Partners on the project were Phoenix-based Layton Construction as contractor; Axis GFA Architecture & Design in Los Angeles as architects; and DESIGN Duncan Miller Ullman in Dallas as interior designers.

This new hotel continues NewcrestImage’s long history with the AC Hotel brand, notably opening the first AC Hotel in the United States, which occurred in the French Quarter of New Orleans in November of 2014. The company also opened the first AC Hotel in Texas in December of 2017 in downtown Dallas.

In 2019, NewcrestImage opened two AC Hotels – a 195-room, 10-floor property in downtown Houston that is a unique historic renovation, and a 150-room, 8-floor property at Frisco Station in north Dallas that is part of an ambitious 600-room, four-brand hotel campus.

“What we do as hoteliers has not changed – we keep guests productive, relaxed, and secure while they are away from home,” added Patel. “But how we do our job is changing a lot – now we focus unrelenting attention on hygiene and social-distanced service.”

NewcrestImage currently owns and operates 30 distinctive hotels nationwide, including through its private real estate funds. For more information, visit

LaPour is a real estate and investment firm that has delivered more than five million square feet of office, industrial, and hospitality space in key southwestern markets in the states of Nevada, Arizona, California, and Colorado. For more information, visit


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