Lights Up at the Ritz-Carlton J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live

This was a big week hotel-wise for me. I got to take a quick tour of the new W Hotel Hollywood, which will be opening on January 18th at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and then that very evening, I headed downtown for the lighting up ceremony of the new J.W. Marriott Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live.

You may remember the Sneak Peek I wrote about the hotel after my hard hat tour of it last month, but things are coming together at the property, and though it will not open until February 15 (the Ritz opens on March 15), they were ready to light up the tower and inaugurate the convention space of the hotel complex with a City of Hope Gala honoring L.A. Live developer Tim Leiweke.

I put on a suit, drove downtown and held my camera at the ready as a hodge podge of politicians, celebrities and businessmen swarmed the 26th floor pool deck for a cocktail reception and press conference that evening, snapping photos of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Magic Johnson and Gene Simmons, as well as Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson.

I also took a quick video of the lighting-up itself, as you'll see when you click on the link to my story below. All in all, it was a fun, energetic evening. One that radiated hope and vision for an economically better future in downtown Los Angeles, so it was a refreshing, uplifting experience. Plus the drinks were good and I was looking pretty cute in my suit.