Non-stop Cancun Service to Increase in 2015

October 29th, 2014

Delta Air Lines Adding Cancun to New Orleans Schedule

(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is pleased to announce that Delta Air Lines will begin Saturday only non-stop service to Cancun, Mexico from New Orleans on March 7, 2015 aboard an MD-88 with 149 seats, 16 of which are BusinessElite®. The weekly flight will depart New Orleans at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Cancun at 10:15 a.m. The Mexico departure will be at 10:15 a.m. and arrive in New Orleans at 1:00 p.m. Service is available for sale now. Reservations may be made at www.delta.com or by calling Customer Service at 1 (800) 455-2720.

Visit full Press Release.



The AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon has named Tracy Duplechain as Director of Sales.

October 27th, 2014

The AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, a 220-room European- inspired, design-led hotel, opening its doors soon in the heart of downtown New Orleans, has named Tracy Duplechain as Director of Sales.

Tracy will be responsible for building new business, increasing market share, creating overall guest satisfaction and forging strong relationships with external business partners. Prior to joining the AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon team, Tracy held the position of Account Executive, Mid-Market LA/MS Area Sales for Marriott International.

The AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon will be managed by NewcrestImage, a privately-owned, Texas-based hotel, development, construction, and management firm.

To read more, visit Press Release.



HRI Properties Secures $150 Million Investment from Almanac Realty Investors

October 24th, 2014

New Orleans – October 22, 2014 – HRI Properties, Inc. (“HRI”) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with affiliates of Almanac Realty Investors LLC (“Almanac”), under which Almanac has committed to provide up to $150 million of growth capital to HRI. HRI will use Almanac’s capital to continue its focus on the development of mixed-use and revitalization projects, acquisitions and national growth. Further, the capital provides HRI with the flexibility to enter into joint ventures with other institutional partners and property owners to create real estate value.

Full Press Release



New Le Meridien hotel’s LMNO restaurant will be led by Colombian-born chef

October 16th, 2014

By Todd A. Price, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune

Last August, the oversized letter came off the Hotel W. On Dec. 15, the 23-story Poydras Street hotel will “reflag” after a $29 million renovation as Le Méridien New Orleans. It will have a new restaurant, a new chef and a new bar.

The restaurant will be called LMNO, incorporating the initials of both the hotel chain, which began in Paris, and the city of New Orleans.

The executive chef of LMNO is Colombian-born Mauricio Gutierrez, who is known for his avant-garde, molecular cooking techniques and use of Latin American flavors.

“His creations are designed to surprise and enchant his guests,” said general manager John Thompson, “but the importance of taste is always the ultimate goal.”

Most recently Gutierrez was at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.

The hotel searched both locally and nationally, before hiring Gutierrez.

“We wanted to find someone who could expand our own culinary horizons and both delight and challenge our palette with new flavors and innovative pairings to create moments of discovery for our guests,” Thompson said.

Before he was hired, Gutierrez was flown to New Orleans for three days and was told to go explore the city’s cuisine. At the end, he created a 12-course meal that married his style with what he discovered in New Orleans.

Located at ground level in the space that used to be the Whiskey Blue bar, LMNO will have a literary-themed decor. The space will be filled with vintage books and the menus will be letterpress.

The entire hotel was designed by the New York firm Meyer Davis.

The lobby will be called the Hub. By day, it will focus on coffee. At night, wine will be the drink of choice.

Inside the Hub will be the main bar, Longitude 90. All Le Méridien hotels have bars named after either the longitude or latitude of their location. The bar will feature a menu of sparkling cocktails, such as a sparkling Sazerac.

Le Méridien New Orleans will have 410 fully renovated rooms, including 22 suites.

According to a press release from the hotel, the Le Méridien chain, owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, has an international ambience. There are nearly 100 Le Méridien hotels in 40 different countries.



Interim no more: Michael Harrison named NOPD superintendent

October 14th, 2014

By Jonathan Bullington, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

After spending the last eight weeks as interim chief, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has officially named Michael Harrison the New Orleans police superintendent.

The mayor made the announcement Tuesday evening during a National Night Out Against Crime event in Algiers.

“I was aware from the first national search we did who all the chiefs are around the country … and I asked because I always want to find the best in the country whether they’re there or they’re here,” Landrieu said.

“And I’m pleased to tell you Michael Harrison really rose to the level of somebody that I know is going to be a great chief.”

A 23-year NOPD veteran, Harrison last served as commander of a 7th District that covers the entirety of eastern New Orleans. Landrieu tapped him in August to take over as interim chief following the retirement of former Superintendent Ronal Serpas, who left to take a teaching job at Loyola University.

At the time, Landrieu said he would seek input on what the community wants in a chief but suggested that the job could be Harrison’s to lose.

“When I made him the interim chief, he had an opportunity to lose it,” Landrieu said. “Not only did he not lose it, he gained the trust and confidence of people throughout the city. So I felt good about it then (and) I feel great about it now.”

The mayor said he looked across the country for available candidates to lead the department, but did not go into specifics about Harrison’s competition for the job.

“Every time I think about doing something, I always have a national profile,” Landrieu said. “I always have a heart for people in New Orleans, but if I found somebody from across the country that I thought was better suited for this job, I would not have hesitated to hire them.”

“But I also wanted to give the guys inside the department the chance to prove themselves,” the mayor continued. “Commander Harrison rose up clearly and really gave me an opportunity to know that we can rise up, to basically tell the younger guys in the department: this is the department of the future.”

Harrison joined the NOPD in 1991, after a career as a munitions specialist sergeant with the Louisiana Air National Guard, which followed his 1987 graduation from McDonough 35 High School. He became a detective in the citywide narcotics unit in 1995, then a sergeant in the 8th District, before joining the Public Integrity Bureau in 2000.

He attained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix in New Orleans in 2006, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Loyola University in 2008.

“I’m the poster child that there is no more glass ceiling,” Harrison said. “That at any moment a person who works hard, has a good work ethic, has confidence and faith and integrity, can rise. And smart people will notice that talent and then give them an opportunity to show off that talent.”

Harrison officially takes the reigns of an understaffed department struggling to combat crime and comply with a federal consent decree.

“We have a long way to go, but the New Orleans police officers in this city have done an unbelievable job under difficult circumstances,” Landrieu said. “I am asking the chief to double down on the critical partnerships with law enforcement agencies that are standing around us today (and) to lead us with the integrity and the confidence that he has shown over time.”



Hyatt House hotel coming to New Orleans

October 14th, 2014

By Jerry Limone, Travelweekly.com

Part of a 24-story office building in New Orleans’ Central Business District will be redeveloped into a Hyatt House hotel, and plans call for a second-floor skybridge connecting it with the Hyatt Regency.

The lobby of the extended-stay hotel will be located on the 11th floor, and guestrooms will be on floors 12 through 17.

Expected to open in 2015, the 194-room hotel will be located at the corner of Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue, across the street from the Poydras Street streetcar stop.

Property owner Christopher Robertson was part of the investment team that bought and redeveloped the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. That 1,193-room hotel, which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and closed for nearly six years, reopened in 2011 following a $275 million redo.



AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon Appoints Melisa Kennedy General Manager

October 14th, 2014

Names Shronette Davis, Assistant General Manager and Blake Duke, Senior Sales Manager

NEW ORLEANS, La. (August 14, 2014)The AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, a 220-room European-inspired hotel, opening soon in the heart of downtown New Orleans, has announced the hiring of the following members to its management team:

Full Press Release.



Records show hotel planned inside 1250 Poydras

October 9th, 2014

By: Robin Shannon, Reporter

A 165-room hotel development is apparently being planned inside an existing Central Business District office building.

According to Orleans Parish Conveyance records, Poydras Properties LLC intends to convert seven floors in the middle of the 24-story 1250 Poydras building into an extended stay hotel under the Hyatt brand.

Representatives from Poydras Properties were not available for comment.

Conveyance records indicate the company executed a commercial lease agreement on Oct. 2 with Waypoint NOLA for a portion of the ground floor of 1250 Poydras and floors 11 through 17 for the hotel conversion project. The area amounts to about 134,000 square feet of space within the building.

For the full story visit, CityBusiness.



HDLC approves demolitions for hotel project

October 8th, 2014

By: Robin Shannon, Reporter

After several months of discussion and design review, the Historic District Landmarks Commission voted today to demolish two Central Business District structures to make way for a new hotel and restaurant project.

HW Real Estate Development Corp. of Chicago wants to build a 138-room hotel with a restaurant on an L-shaped lot that faces Julia Street on one end and Baronne Street at the other. The development wraps around an existing two-story residence on Julia Street and a four-story building on the corner of Baronne and Julia.

The HDLC unanimously approved a developer’s request to bring down a covered parking shed and another two-story building to make way for the project. The proposal now moves on to the City Council for final approval.

For the full story visit, CityBusiness.



New Orleans development team, Howard Hughes Corp. among companies vying for Convention Center riverfront project

October 8th, 2014

By Katherine Sayre, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

A New Orleans-based team of developers, two national companies and a Miami group are competing to transform 47 acres of unused land on the Mississippi River owned by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center into a hotel, shopping, residential and entertainment district.

Two other companies have applied to build only a hotel at the site, the main component of the Convention Center’s plans for the area upriver from the Crescent City Connection.

Earlier this year, the Convention Center issued a “request for interest” from developers in hopes of luring up as much as $1 billion in private investment to create a space that attracts more conventions along with locals.

President and CEO Bob Johnson said the convention center asked for a basic application from developers; the next step will be seeking specific proposals, including visual renderings, from each team.

The companies seeking to be the “master developer” for the project are:

Johnson said two companies applied to develop only the full-service hotel component, part of an effort to compete with other convention facilities around the country with a connected anchor hotel. Those groups are:

  • RIDA Development Corp.: A Houston-based company undergoing an expansion of its hotel development efforts in the U.S. and around the world, according to the company’s website.
  • Omni Hotels & Resorts: A Dallas-based hotel company. Omni’s properties include hotels adjacent or attached to convention centers in Dallas, Nashville, Fort Worth and San Diego.

Johnson said the teams will be ranked by staff along with board members, and the convention center will begin negotiations for a long-term lease with the top-ranked group. He said he hopes to have negotiations begun by the start of next year.

He said the companies are not responding to a specific request-for-proposals. Instead, the said, the center is looking for developers’ ideas, for a hotel, retail and other components, such as entertainment, apartments or condos.

“I’m confident that we will be able to come to terms with one of the groups that have expressed an interest,” Johnson said.

If for some reason negotiations fail with the first group, Johnson said, the center will move on to the second-ranked group.

The convention center has about $170 million — from a combination of bonds, cash reserves and state capital outlay money — to pursue its ambitious expansion goals, including planned construction along Convention Center Boulevard to make it more pedestrian friendly and infrastructure work to prepare the vacant land for development.




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