New lux­ury NOPSI Ho­tel pays trib­ute to 1920s New Or­leans

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - Nancy Tre­jos

The U. S. ho­tel in­dus­try is mov­ing along, with 186,945 rooms un­der con­struc­tion as of June. That rep­re­sents a 12.4% in­crease com­pared with June 2016, ac­cord­ing to re­search firm STR’s lat­est pipe­line re­port.

Here’s a roundup of some no­table open­ings, up­dates and brand de­vel­op­ments. NOPSI IN NEW OR­LEANS New Or­leans has a new lux­ury ho­tel. The NOPSI Ho­tel, part of Sala­man­der Ho­tel & Re­sorts, has of­fi­cially opened its doors in the Cen­tral Busi­ness District, a short walk from the French Quar­ter.

The nine- story brick prop­erty was orig­i­nally built in 1927 as the head­quar­ters for New Or­leans Pub­lic Ser­vice Inc. ( NOPSI), then the city’s util­ity com­pany and tran­sit op­er­a­tor. The build­ing is listed on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places.

The restora­tion re­tained and im­proved the street façade, ca­st­iron rails, stone pan­els and the lobby’s vaulted ceil­ings, arches, and stone ter­razzo floor­ing.

“We were drawn to the build­ing’s beauty and his­tory,” says Carl Kuehner, chair­man of Build­ing and Land Tech­nol­ogy, the ho­tel’s owner.

NOPSI fea­tures 217 gue­strooms, in­clud­ing 76 suites, and 14,000 square feet of in­door and out­door meet­ing space. Gue­strooms range in size from 350 to 800 square feet.

The ho­tel has a restau­rant called Pub­lic Ser­vice, a rooftop pool and bar named Above the Grid. And a lobby bar called un­der­cur­rent Bar & Pa­tio. CHOICE GO­ING UP­SCALE Choice Ho­tels, bet­ter known for econ­omy brands such as Com­fort Inn and Econo Lodge, is ex­pand­ing its pres­ence in the up­scale mar­ket with its grow­ing Cam­bria Ho­tels and As­cend Col­lec­tion.

“We’ve come to the re­al­iza­tion that we have cus­tomers who are trad­ing up and need brands that are trad­ing up,” says Ja­nis Can­non, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of up­scale brands for Choice.

Right now there are 175 prop­er­ties in the As­cend Col­lec­tion, which are in­de­pen­dent ho­tels that take ad­van­tage of Choice Ho­tels’ mar­ket­ing and dis­tri­bu­tions sys­tem. In all, 235 As­cend ho­tels are open or un­der de­vel­op­ment world­wide, with 45 set to open this year.

Mean­while, Cam­bria Ho­tels has 31 prop­er­ties. By the end of the year, it will open nine more, and break ground on an­other 18. The com­pany has con­tracts for 52 other lo­ca­tions. CU­RIO COL­LEC­TION EX­PANDS Hil­ton launched its Cu­rio col­lec­tion of up­scale ho­tels in 2014, and so far it has grown to 39 prop­er­ties.

The lat­est ad­di­tion is the his­toric Ho­tel del Coron­ado in San Diego County, a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark. The ho­tel, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 130- year an­niver­sary, has played host to celebri­ties and roy­alty.

As part of the Cu­rio col­lec­tion, the ho­tel will main­tain its in­de­pen­dence while tak­ing ad­van­tage of Hil­ton’s dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tems. Guests will now be able to earn points, get free Wi- Fi and use dig­i­tal check- in through the Hil­ton Hon­ors pro­gram. Also known as “The Del,” the sea­side ho­tel has 757 guest rooms, 47 meet­ing venues, sev­eral restau­rants and a spa and sa­lon.

Mean­while, a num­ber of ex­ist­ing ho­tels in the col­lec­tion are step­ping up their game.

The Diplo­mat Re­sort Hol­ly­wood, Cu­rio Col­lec­tion by Hil­ton has just emerged from a $ 100 mil­lion trans­for­ma­tion. The ocean­front re­sort has been open since 1958. The his­toric El San Juan Ho­tel, Cu­rio Col­lec­tion by Hil­ton, has un­der­gone a $ 60 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion. The front of the ho­tel, guest rooms, restau­rants and the lobby have been given a more mod­ern look.

The Ho­tel Phillips Kansas City, Cu­rio Col­lec­tion by Hil­ton, has gone through a $ 20 mil­lion trans­for­ma­tion of its guest rooms, din­ing ar­eas and lobby. The down­town land­mark opened in 1931 and was once the tallest build­ing in Kansas City. PUR­SU­ING A DREAM IN L. A. Dream Hol­ly­wood has of­fi­cially opened not just as a ho­tel, but a din­ing, nightlife and well­ness re­treat. It marks the fourth Dream ho­tel to open in the USA.

Lo­cated on the cor­ner of Selma Av­enue and North Cahuenga Boule­vard in Hol­ly­wood, the ho­tel has 178 guest rooms and suites and an 11,000- square- foot rooftop pool, restau­rant and lounge with views of the Hol­ly­wood Hills. The ho­tel fea­tures five restau­rant and nightlife venues op­er­ated by the TAO Group, in­clud­ing TAO Asian Bistro.

MODUS PHOTOGRAPHY

NOPSI Ho­tel fea­tures a rooftop pool and bar. The build­ing, built in 1927, was head­quar­ters for New Or­leans Pub­lic Ser­vice Inc. ( NOPSI) and is on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places.

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