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New Orleans' Fairmont Will Be Redeveloped as a Waldorf

June 6, 2008 By: Ruthanne Terrero

Venerable hotel has been shuttered since Katrina

It’s official: The Fairmont, New Orleans, which has been shuttered since Hurricane Katrina hit nearly three years ago, will become The Roosevelt a Waldorf=Astoria Collection Hotel with a reopening time frame set for Spring 2009.

The hotel was recently sold by the Kingdom Holding Company, whose chairman is HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, to First Class Hotels, LLC.

The property has long been a part of New Orleans history; it’s said that famed Louisiana Governor Huey Long had a 90-mile highway built directly from the state capital in Baton Rouge to the hotel. The hotel is also said to have inspired Arthur Hailey’s best selling 1965 novel Hotel.

Key among those plans to restore the property to its previous grandeur will be the reopening of the hotel’s famed “Blue Room,” which will again host live entertainment. The Sazerac Bar will also be reopened and will serve its signature Sazerac Cocktails and Ramos Gin Fizzes.

The Roosevelt will have 500 guest accommodations, of which 110 will be suites, as well as a luxury spa and fitness center and a marquis street front restaurant. Ballrooms and public space will also be restored.

According to the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, the after-affects of Katrina had flooded the hotel’s basement with 10 feet of water, destroying all of its mechanical equipment. The hurricane’s wind-driven rain also inundated nearly every guest room, according to the paper.

Other members of the Waldorf=Astoria Collection include the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, La Quinta Resort & Club, Rome Cavalieri, Qasr Al Sharq and, of course, The Waldorf=Astoria in New York.

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