Omni Hotels & Resorts to invest $500 million for transformative public-private project


NEW ORLEANS – The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority (the Authority) has approved two resolutions critical to moving forward with the development of a 1,000-room headquarters hotel for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC). In addition to accepting a formal letter of intent (LOI) with Omni Hotels & Resorts (Omni) to own and operate the headquarters hotel, today the Authority voted to approve a purchase and sale agreement for property at Convention Center Boulevard and Andrew Higgins Boulevard. The site, currently operated as the Sugar Mill event venue, is immediately across the street from the Convention Center and is the preferred site for the new headquarters hotel.  

“In case anyone needed another reason to travel to New Orleans, this is it. I am ecstatic that the Authority has taken the next step to develop a new hotel for the New Orleans Convention Center. My sincere thanks goes to Omni Hotels & Resorts, the Authority, and all who worked to make this a reality. This hotel will bring more people and events to our state, and it gives us greater opportunity to showcase all that New Orleans has to offer,” said Governor Jeff Landry.

The hotel will be strategically positioned to help attract events that have previously passed on New Orleans because the city lacks a modern, upscale headquarters hotel adjacent to the Convention Center. Having a new headquarters hotel will increase New Orleans' destination appeal nationally and regionally, bringing opportunities for continued growth and success for the city, region and state. This important asset will help meet a growing demand in the contemporary meetings market and strengthen New Orleans’ position as a top-tier meeting and events destination – one that is Built to Host.

“Today’s votes signal the Authority’s approval to move forward with a plan that will finally give New Orleans the new, dedicated headquarters hotel it deserves. This is the right time, at the right place and with the right partner,” said Russell Allen, Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority President. “Partnering with Omni Hotels & Resorts will help us transform this visionary concept into a reality and seize a unique opportunity to propel our community forward while making a lasting impact on our economic landscape.”

Consideration of a headquarters hotel began several years ago and has been closely evaluated for nearly a decade.

“The Authority’s actions take us one step closer to attracting the trade shows, conventions and events that only an adjacent headquarters hotel can,” said 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. Building a headquarters hotel will be transformative for New Orleans tourism and realize a vision many years in the making.”

Omni has been the Authority’s selected partner since 2018 and a leading expert in convention center headquarters hotels, having seven similar properties it has developed in other cities, all exceeding expectations. Omni demonstrates its commitment to deliver the hotel by investing $500 million to finance the project.

“We are excited to begin negotiations with the Authority, as we work together to develop the new Convention Center headquarter 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. The City of New Orleans is a premier destination and an American treasure, so we are thrilled at the prospect of creating a hotel that embodies its character and culture,” said Kurt Alexander, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts.  “Our vision is to create memorable experiences inspired by the heart and soul of a destination, and we look forward to collaborating with the Authority as well as the government and business leaders of New Orleans toward this end and to further cement New Orleans’ position as a world-class convention and major-event destination,” added Alexander.

With today’s actions, the Authority clears the way for a project that will support approximately 1,100 permanent jobs, generate roughly $282 million in annual impact on the local economy and add a combined $24 million in annual tax revenue for the city and the state.

Walter J. Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, the official destination sales and marketing organization for the New Orleans tourism industry added, “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.  We are grateful for Omni Hotels & Resorts’ investment in New Orleans. This new hotel will generate jobs for our residents, strengthen Louisiana’s economy, create more business for existing hotels and companies across the community that thrive when we have a robust convention calendar.”

Negotiations will continue and conclude with final agreements being ready for the Authority to review and consider at the end of 2024. Design and construction will begin in 2025, with an expected opening in 2028-2029.  


About the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority
The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s (Authority) exclusive mission is to finance, construct and operate facilities in order to attract and conduct conventions, trade shows and other events that support and expand the economy of both the State of Louisiana and New Orleans Region. The Authority is composed of a 13-member board of commissioners, ten appointed by the Governor of Louisiana, and three appointed by the Mayor of New Orleans. Since 1985, event activity at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.


About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC)
New Orleans is Built to Host! With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space on one level, all under one roof, NOENMCC is the sixth largest Convention Center in the United States and provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. NOENMCC is a 2023 IAVM Venue Excellence recipient and is consistently named a regional top workplace by The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Our recent LEED Gold certification makes NOENMCC the largest LEED-certified project in Louisiana and the largest convention center project in the U.S. certified under LEED v4.1 Operations and Maintenance, as well as the first convention center in the world to be awarded initial certification under LEED Gold v4.1 O+M. A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, NOENMCC event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts:
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct hotels and resorts in the most popular leisure and business destinations across the United States, as well as in Canada. With 26 iconic golf courses, including multiple short courses, 25 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination.  Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA of America. For information or to book accommodations, visit or call 1-800-The-Omni.