WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - It was an ideal sunny spring day as borough official, hotel employees and others gathered for the official grand opening and ribbon cutting for the newest business to call Wood-Ridge home.
Members from Marriott, owners The Briad Group, members of Wood-Ridge Mayor and Council, and hotels employees gathered outside the main entrance of the Element by Westin on Route 17 South for its opening and ribbon cutting.
"This is a very special hotel," said David Decicco, Vice President. "This hotel is designed to complement the corporate airport (Teterboro Airport)," which is the second largest in the world he noted.
"The town of Wood-Ridge has been amazing to work with," said Brad Honigfeld, Founder and Chairman of The Briad Group.
"We are extremely excited about this hotel," said Senator and Mayor Paul Sarlo. "I want to thank the Honigfeld family for continuing their 25 year investment in our community by replacing their TGIF restaurant with the spectacular Element Hotel, which is part of the Marriott brand of hotels."
The Wood-Ridge Zoning Board approved the plans to build the hotel which replaced the TGIFriday's in July 2018. Construction crews originally broke ground in June 2019. In March 2020, the pandemic shut many businesses and construction projects throughout the state. But modified activity continued at the site.
"We kept moving forward continually," explained Michael Boyle, General Manager. He said that they "reduced the number of workers in the building."
The hotel will have 126 rooms on six floors. It will have 35 employees for the hotel, and another 35 to 40 when the rooftop restaurant opens in approximately 30 days.
"The hotel is very impressive with high-end finishes and a very stylish look. It's definitely the nicest hotel in all of Bergen County," said Sarlo. "I'm also looking forward to the rooftop restaurant opening in May, which will be a great place to enjoy both good food and panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline."