Although Marriott’s not even halfway to its year-end goal of 25 members for its new Autograph Collection, Kip Vreeland, the collection’s vice president, is confident the number is within reach. Hotel Duval, a 117-room boutique hotel in Tallahassee became the 11th member to join Marriott’s collection of upper upscale and luxury properties on July 22.

A guestroom at the Hotel Duval in Tallahassee.

A 12th member could be announced as soon as next week, and Vreeland says three others in major markets are on the verge of signing contracts. “And I’ve got 18 we’ve turned and are in active engagement with,” he says, adding that many are in gateway cities and major markets up and down the East Coast.

Marriott announced plans for Autograph at the end of 2009 and introduced its first seven members — the entire Kessler Collection— at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit this January. The collection allows members to remain independent, but with the backing of Marriott’s vast resources.

For Hotel Duval that was the biggest selling point. “It’s an opportunity to amplify our own brand, Hotel Duval, to 32.5 million Marriott Rewards members as well as take advantage of the global reach of Marriott and align ourselves with the other Autograph Collection properties,” says General Manager Marc Bauer.