The National WWII Museum has opened a $66.5 million lodging destination at its New Orleans campus. The 230-key Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton marks the debut of the upper-upscale Curio Collection brand in the State of Louisiana.
The National WWII Museum—which opened its doors in 2000 as the National D-Day Museum before being designated by Congress as the country’s official World War II museum in 2003—occupies six acres in downtown New Orleans. The eight-story Higgins carries the address of 1000 Magazine St. and joins a handful of other structures on the campus.
Architectural firm Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates designed the Art Deco-style building, which features four dining outlets, a rooftop bar and a state-of-the-art conference center facility totaling 18,000 square feet spanning the second floor. Kay Lang + Associates spearheaded The Higgins’ 1940s-themed interior design, which centers on the Second World War.
Hostmark Hospitality Group is handling management of The Higgins as well as the conference center. By completing the hotel, the National WWII Museum has made use of the last remaining undeveloped piece of land on its campus.
Development of The Higgins was not a case of “if you build it, they will come”. Officials of the National WWII Museum decided to construct the hotel to accommodate plans for expanding its increasingly coveted conference and symposium offerings.
However, demand for lodging options is strong even beyond the gates of the Museum. According to a recent report by hotel consulting firm HVS, the high occupancy and ADR levels recorded in New Orleans’ tricentennial year of 2018 have remained relatively stable in 2019. Looking ahead, the market is on track to heat up over the next few years, courtesy of a boost in tourism spurred by the opening of additional cruise lines and the new $1 billion terminal at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
Hotel properties on the horizon in the Big Easy include Virgin Group and The Buccini/Pollin Group’s 200-key Virgin Hotel New Orleans, scheduled to open in 2021. Additionally, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will introduce its first property in the city, the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans, in late 2020.