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Hotel-conference center name honors Marble Falls’ first woman mayor

The Ophelia Hotel Marble Falls

An architect’s rendering of The Ophelia Hotel Marble Falls, the name of the hotel-conference center to be built on the corner of Yett and Main streets in downtown. The name is in honor of the city’s first woman mayor, Ophelia 'Birdie' Harwood, who was elected three years before women were granted the right to vote. Courtesy image

A planned hotel-conference center in Marble Falls will be called The Ophelia Hotel Marble Falls, the Phoenix Hospitality Group announced Tuesday, May 17. Named in honor of Ophelia “Birdie” Harwood, who was elected mayor of Marble Falls in 1917, three years before women could even vote, the hotel will be located at 1 Main St. on the corner of Yett and Main streets in downtown.  

Guests can eat in Birdie’s Restaurant or have a drink at Doc Harwood’s rooftop bar, which is named after the former mayor’s husband. 

“I love it,” said Christian Fletcher, executive director of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp., of the name. “That was my first choice from the beginning.”

The EDC actually went through the naming process twice with two different public relations firms, and Ophelia was the winner each time.

“It was serendipitous that we came up with the same idea to honor one of the great historical figures in this city’s history,” Fletcher said. “I’m excited where we landed.”

The Ophelia Hotel Marble Falls
An overview of the planned hotel-conference center in downtown Marble Falls. Courtesy image

Austin-based Wurzel Builders was named general contractor and construction manager. 

Groundbreaking ceremonies, which will kick off construction, are expected to happen this summer. A Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel, The Ophelia Hotel Marble Falls should be open sometime in early 2024. 

“The Ophelia Hotel will embody what Ophelia accomplished, blending tradition and elegance while exceeding expectations,” reads a media release from the Phoenix Hospitality Group, the hotel management part of Marble Falls Hotel Group LLC, which is financing the project. “The affiliation with Hilton Hotels and, in particular, the Tapestry Collection of unique boutique hotels is a perfect fit for The Ophelia Hotel, highlighting its individualism and personality.”

The hotel will have 123 guest rooms and more than 9,000 feet of ballroom and meeting space along with the restaurant and bar. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com