BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Watermark Hotel in downtown Baton Rouge is just days away from opening to the public.
On Wednesday, the company hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony as a soft opening for the hotel and restaurant.
The former Louisiana National Bank building was vacant until developer Mike Wampold, who is also the CEO of Wampold Companies, purchased the property in 2014.
The Watermark Hotel has been under construction for about 18 months.
"It's been a great pleasure to bring this wonderful Baton Rouge icon back to life as the Watermark Hotel and the Gregory restaurant and Milfred's on Third," Wampold said. "It's been great. It's been an honor to do this. This building was constructed in 1925 as the Louisiana National Bank building."
East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden said the new iconic structure will benefit Baton Rouge economically.
"For Baton Rouge, this becomes a good marketing strategy and tool because as fine as this place is I can tell you we'll be seeing more and more people coming here and making a difference in our quality of life," Holden said.
Holden declared Wednesday, October 12 to be "Watermark Baton Rouge Day."
Wampold said the hotel and restaurant should be ready for service and fully open by Friday, October 14.