New Orleans Convention Center Headquarters Hotel in the Works

Exterior of a convention center

Skift Take

New Orleans is one step closer to getting a new headquarters hotel across the street from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Construction is slated to start on a new 1,000-room Omni next year. 

New Orleans is one step closer to getting a new headquarters hotel across the street from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. If all goes as planned, construction starts on a new 1,000-room Omni next year. 

New Orleans has all the elements to host successful conventions, except a true convention center headquarters hotel. That is about to change.

The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority has approved two resolutions to make a 1,000-room Omni hotel a reality. Design and construction will begin in 2025, with an expected opening in 2028-2029.  

 In addition to accepting a formal letter of intent with Omni Hotels & Resorts to own and operate the headquarters hotel, the authority also voted to approve a purchase and sale agreement for property at Convention Center Boulevard. The site now houses the Sugar Mill event venue, right across the street from the convention center. 

The hotel will be strategically positioned to help attract events that have previously passed on New Orleans. “The Authority’s actions take us one step closer to attracting the trade shows, conventions, and events that only an adjacent headquarters hotel can,” says Michael J. Sawaya, convention center president and CEO. “It will introduce a new market and mean more events, bring more jobs, generate new demand for rooms for other hotels in the market and more spending at local restaurants and other businesses.”

Omni Makes Sense

With a focus on convention center headquarters hotels, Omni has seven such properties. It has committed to invest $500 million to finance this project.

“We are excited to begin negotiations with the authority, as we work together to develop the new convention center headquarters hotel in New Orleans. Omni Hotels & Resorts is a recognized leader in the convention center hotel market, and we excel at developing hotels that reflect the dynamic local culture of a destination,” says Kurt Alexander, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  

This new property will impact the entire city. “Today’s action will make New Orleans’ an even more competitive destination for meetings and conventions. New Orleans is ‘Built to Host,’ but it’s critical that we develop new product offerings to remain competitive, especially when cities such as Las Vegas, Dallas, Nashville, Austin, Orlando, and others are making significant investments in new hotels, convention centers, and major tourist attractions,” says Walter J. Leger III, president and CEO of New Orleans & Company.

New Orleans Convention Center Being Revitalized

In addition, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is undergoing a $557 million revitalization that will improve its meeting spaces.

The center also recently received LEED Gold certification. This makes the center the largest LEED-certified project in Louisiana, the largest convention center project in the U.S. certified under LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance, and the first convention center in the world to be awarded initial certification under Anchor LEED v4.1 O+M.

With 1.1 million square feet of contiguous exhibit space, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is the sixth-largest convention facility in the nation.

Photo credit: Chris Granger / New Orleans & Company