Officials from the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista gathered for a historic event on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, to ceremonially break ground on the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center – the catalyst project for the Chula Vista Bayfront. They were joined by representatives of Gaylord Hotels and the developer, RIDA Chula Vista, LLC, and hundreds of community supporters of the project.
Gaylord Hotels is the large convention hotel brand of Marriott International. When constructed, this will be Gaylord Hotels’ first West Coast location. With its nationally recognized brand, the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center is expected to spur other development on the 535-acre Chula Vista Bayfront. Heavy equipment is positioned on site for the groundbreaking of the 1,600-room hotel and convention center.
Wednesday’s event marked the start of a bayfront development phase totaling $1.35 billion of investment. Decades in the making, the use of a public-private partnership was jointly conceived by the Port and the City of Chula Vista and executed through the participation of RIDA Chula Vista’s partners, RIDA Development Corp & Ares Management. The Port and the City successfully secured $275 million in public bond funding to support the public investment in the project and closed escrow in May. The first phase will include the resort hotel and convention center along with a brand-new public park, new roads, a parking structure, and supporting public infrastructure.
“The Chula Vista Bayfront in the defining project of a generation for the South Bay. We are finally realizing the fulfillment of all the tireless effort that hundreds if not thousands of people have invested in this project over the past few decades,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “I am beyond proud and honored to be here to celebrate the start of construction on the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center.”
“This is a historic day to kick off construction of the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center on the Chula Vista Bayfront,” said California Coastal Commissioner and City Councilman Steve Padilla. “The people of the State of California, our San Diego region and the City of Chula Vista can look forward to a transformative project that provides major economic investment, job creation and many other public benefits.”
“We warmly welcome the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center to the Chula Vista Bayfront. Not only will this be the Port’s first hotel in the City of Chula Vista, it will be the South Bay’s first convention center,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Dan Malcolm. “This is the largest public-private partnership ever undertaken by the Port, and its effects will be nothing short of transformative – drawing visitors from throughout the State of California and beyond.”
“The Chula Vista Bayfront is a model of excellent planning that balances economic development with public benefits including new parks and access to the coast, along with thousands of jobs. The Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center will be a point of pride for our entire region,” said Port of San Diego Commissioner Ann Moore, who was appointed to serve on the seven-member board by the Chula Vista City Council. “This is Chula Vista’s day – and this project belongs to all of us.”
“The closing of the Gaylord construction loan and the commencement of construction will bring thousands of construction jobs and 4,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs to the state of California,” said Ira Mitzner, CEO of RIDA Development Corp. “This project represents the finest of public-private partnerships and will create a strong and unique economic engine for the City of Chula Vista, Port of San Diego, and State of California for many decades to come.”
“We are thrilled to announce the growth of the Gaylord Hotels brand with the addition of the Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center,” said Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International. “Adding a West Coast group destination of this scale and quality to Marriott’s portfolio will provide our customers the exceptional meetings and events service and design that the Gaylord Hotels brand is known for in a highly-desired, premier Southern California location.”
Also present were Port of San Diego President and CEO Joe Stuyvesant and Chula Vista City Manager Maria V. Kachadoorian.
Gaylord Pacific includes a convention center with four ballrooms, three levels of meeting space and two outdoor meeting and event lawns as well as multiple restaurants, a sports bar, resort-style pool, and an array of recreational facilities. To ensure connectivity to the wider bayfront, this project will also have many public amenities including pedestrian promenades, bicycle access, a variety of food and beverage offerings, game activities, a nature playground, and more.
The hotel is currently projected to open in 2025. It will have an enormous impact on the South Bay and the San Diego region and attract visitors from throughout the State of California and beyond. It will create thousands of jobs during construction alone. Once open, it will create sustained economic impact of half-a-billion dollars each year with 4,000 direct & indirect permanent jobs.
For more information about the Chula Vista Bayfront, visit portofsandiego.org/chulavistabayfront.