by Michael C. LoweNovember 1, 2012
New Orleans is gearing up to host the Super Bowl in February 2013 with a mega roster of projects, including newly opened hotels such as the Hyatt French Quarter (above), a major new meeting space in the Morial Convention Center and some $300 million in airport improvements.
Food CityNew Orleans is home to some 1,300 restaurants, and a number of new entries have recently joined the scene, including Borgne, Restaurant R'Evolution, Sobuo and Criollo.
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In January, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will unveil its new Great Hall, a 60,300-square-foot divisible space with a 4,660-square-foot junior ballroom, a 3,420-square-foot rooftop terrace, a 980-square-foot indoor balcony and a 5,700-square-foot executive club lounge.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is finishing up $300 million in improvements, which includes the expansion of its Concourse D, the addition of six new gates and a new rental car facility. Among other upgrades: free Wi-Fi in the terminal and new flight display information systems.
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome has completed an $85 million renovation the includes an expansion of the plaza-level concourse, 3,100 new plaza-level seats, 186 digital concourse monitors and two new club lounges.
The 254-room Hyatt French Quarter opened earlier this year following an $18 million renovation of the former Wyndham Historic Hotel. The property underwent upgrades to its exterior, lobby, landscaping and pool deck. New additions include a bodega-inspired market called Powdered Sugar, and an upscale lounge called Batch, which features a menu of top-shelf bourbons. The hotel offers 10,660 square feet of meeting space.
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans reopened last fall after being shut since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The hotel now has 1,193 guest rooms and more than 200,000 square feet of meeting space.
The W New Orleans recently completed a $9 million renovation of its 97 guest rooms, dining areas, fitness facility and public spaces. The property has more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 1,100-room Sheraton New Orleans, with 105,700 square feet of function space, will wrap up a $45 million renovation next year that will include all guest rooms, the club lounge, meeting facilities and the lobby.
The Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter opened in June with 186 guest rooms, more than 4,000 square feet of meeting space, an outdoor pool, a fitness center and a full-service restaurant.
The 170-room Hyatt Place New Orleans/Convention Center has opened in the Warehouse District, near the convention center. The property features complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, and more than 3,300 square feet of meeting space.
The Windsor Court Hotel has finished a $22 million restoration that refreshed all 316 guest rooms, refurbished the club lounge, and revamped all dining areas, the pool area and meeting spaces. The hotel also now sports a new lobby bar and spa.
The Residence Inn New Orleans Downtown has completed a renovation of its 231 suites and public spaces. The inn offers 700 square feet of meeting space.