BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - City-Parish officials beamed as they announced a new hotel for Downtown Baton Rouge.
The Windsor/Aughtry company which also built the Hampton Inn and Suites downtown plans to build a Courtyard Marriott Hotel in the heart of the area at the corner of Third and Florida. The area is currently a parking lot and used to be home to Baton Rouge's first major hotel in 1903.
The new eight-story, 147 room hotel will feature some retail space in the lower level and is set to open in the last part of 2016.
Paul Arrigo with Visit Baton Rouge says this latest addition will help them market Baton Rouge and pursue much more convention and events business.
"We will now make the list of cities that have a thousand rooms within close proximity to the convention centers," Arrigo said. "When you look at publications and throughout the industry this will bring us to that level right now."
Mayor-President Kip Holden says Baton Rouge is more than ready to attract more conventions. He points to the national attention the city received while hosting the Miss USA pageant.
"Landing Miss USA sent a message not only across the country but the world- as to how great Baton Rouge is," Holden said.
Holden says the city-parish is working with New Orleans city officials to share some big events instead of mostly competing with the city to land business.
"Now you have two cities who are converging on more than one occasion and to work together to build up both cities," Holden said. "The ultimate goal is to make sure people understand and appreciate Louisiana."