David Lang, formerly the general manager of Northwest Arkansas’ largest hospitality asset, has landed a new job leading the flagship hotel in the state’s capital city.
Lang, 53, has taken over general manager duties at the Little Rock Marriott, a 20-story, full-service hotel situated on Markham Street downtown on the banks of the Arkansas River. His first day was Nov. 12.
“I’m very excited to be here,” Lang said. “The team of hospitality professionals here is absolutely fantastic.”
Lang was most recently the longtime GM of Embassy Suites Northwest Arkansas in Rogers. The hotel opened in May 2003, and Lang was hired nine months later as the property’s second general manager.
His tenure ended in May this year, a casualty of an ownership change for the hotel and the adjoining John Q. Hammons Center.
The 400-room hotel and 125,000-square-foot convention center are now owned by JD Holdings, a New York investment firm. Atrium Hospitality, a JD Holdings affiliate based in Alpharetta, Ga., manages the property.
Lang, a Minnesota native who has been general manager at four hotels previously in his career, called the Little Rock Marriott an iconic hotel, not just in Arkansas but in the entire region. The property opened in November 1982 as The Excelsior. In 2002, it re-opened as The Peabody Little Rock, modeled after its famed namesake in Memphis, Tenn. It has 418 rooms and 22 suites, along with more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space.
Fairwood Capital LLC of Memphis bought the lease from the Peabody Hotel Group in 2013 and reflagged the hotel to a full-service Marriott. Davidson Hotels and Resorts of Atlanta manages the property.
The Little Rock Marriott has its own meeting spaces and is connected to the 220,000-square-foot Statehouse Convention Center, which is run by the Little Rock Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Lang said he is happy to continue his hospitality career in Arkansas.
“I love the Natural State, and I have loved my time in Arkansas,” said Lang, who’s a past president of the Arkansas Hospitality Association. “I’ve made so many good friends and business relationships, not just in Northwest Arkansas but throughout the state.”