Media Contact:
Ann Wills for AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon


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 senior management team:

Melisa Kennedy - General Manager
Melisa Kennedy has more than 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and has held General Manger positions at several properties throughout the south, most recently in New Orleans, where she served as General Manager of the Cotton Exchange Hotel (now the AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon) and as Director of Front Office for the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel on Canal Street.

Earlier in her career, in her role as general manager of the Holiday Inn Express/Cotton Exchange Hotel, Melisa led a team of dedicated employees to help rebuild the hotel and basement, as well as their city, after heavy flooding nearly destroyed the property during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Melisa will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the newly-renovated hotel, the first AC Hotels by Marriott in the United States, including recruiting, hiring and training of all front office personnel, as well as providing guest satisfaction and maintaining the highest level of AC Hotels by Marriott brand standards.

Melisa is a native of Augusta Georgia, who moved to New Orleans in 2004. She is active in several hospitality industry and civic organizations including GNOHLA (Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association, Hospitality Cares, Habitat for Humanity and French Quarter Festival.

Shronette Davis - Assistant General Manager
Shronette Davis will be responsible for overseeing daily operations for the new hotel as the team strives to achieve excellence and profitability, while delivering the unique travel experience, AC Hotels by Marriott guests have come to expect.

Prior to becoming Assistant General Manager for the new AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, Shronette rose through ranks of several New Orleans hotels, bringing her strong management skills and attention to details to the table.

Shronette is a native New Orleanian, whose knowledge of the city will make guests feel welcome, as she ensures they have not only a memorable stay at the AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon, but a memorable stay in the city.

Blake Duke - Senior Sales Manager
Blake will utilize his strong sales and service industry skills to help oversee all areas of the sales and catering /conference departments. The new AC Hotel will now offer their business and event travelers a multitude of meeting and special event option with their new contemporary meeting spaces and fully engaged catering kitchen. In his prior position as Director of Sales for the Cotton Exchange Hotel (now the AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon), Blake led sales teams that tripled the previous year's group sales numbers. He plans to bring his in-depth knowledge of the service industry and the city to each of hotel's guests.

A New Orleans native, Blake brings years of hotel industry experience to the AC Hotels by Marriott brand. He is a member of numerous hospitality & tourism organizations, including Louisiana Restaurant Association, La. Hotel/Motel Association, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation and New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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

"We're excited to be opening the first AC Hotels by Marriott property in the U.S. in such a vibrant city as New Orleans," said Mehul Patel, NewcrestImage CEO and chairman. "With its rich Spanish and French cultural influences, so many people across the globe know New Orleans and want to visit this most- European of all U.S. cities. We believe this hotel will bring a new style, and a decidedly European sensibility to the city's hospitality and tourism market, while at the same time providing travelers with a truly memorable experience."

AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon is scheduled to open for business in early October 2014, followed by an exciting grand opening event in mid-November. The invitation only grand opening event will feature Marriott International executives, Antonio Catalán-the AC in AC Hotels by Marriott, local celebrities, musicians, business, civic and tourism leaders. Additional AC Hotels by Marriott properties are scheduled to open in Kansas City, winter 2014 and Miami, spring 2015.

About AC Hotel New Orleans
The AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon is an upscale, eight-story, 220-room urban-inspired hotel. Designed for the modern business and leisure traveler, the hotel is located near the historic French Quarter, and in one of the country's most vibrant and European-style cities-New Orleans.

Planting its roots as early as 1993, NewcrestImage is a privately-owned, Texas-based hotel development, construction, and management firm. The company's principals have a combined experience of over a century in the hospitality industry. Their collective experience, combined with their singe-minded dedication to provided guests with first-rate lodging accommodations and best-in-class guest services, are at the core of the company's continuing success. The company designs, builds and operates state-of-the-art hotels for the most renowned brands in the hospitality industry.

About AC Hotels by Marriott

Stylish Hotels for Urban Spirits
Founded in 1998 by Antonio Catalán, AC Hotels has nearly 80 properties located in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal. AC Hotels and Marriott formed a joint venture in 2011, leveraging the unique style and design of these upscale urban-inspired hotels with the portfolio power and distribution of Marriott International.