Waldorf=Astoria Coming to New Orleans

The Waldorf=Astoria Collection, a luxury member of the Hilton Hotels Family, announced plans earlier this month for the redevelopment of the former Fairmont New Orleans as The Roosevelt in conjunction with the Hotel owner, First Class Hotels LLC. The legendary New Orleans property, located at 123 Baronne Street, which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina, was originally opened in 1893. The project's cost is expected to exceed $100 million. Completion and opening is scheduled for late spring of 2009.

Key among plans to restore the property to its previous elite status will be the reopening of the hotel's famed 'Blue Room,' as well as the legendary Sazerac Bar. The ballrooms of the Roosevelt, which served as venues for many of New Orleans' most prestigious social events, will also be completely restored. These ballrooms include the 20,000 sq ft. Grand Ballroom as well as the 13,000 sq ft. Imperial Ballroom and the 6,000 sq ft. University Ballroom.

The Roosevelt will feature 500 guest accommodations, of which 110 will be suites, as well as a luxury spa and fitness center and a high-profile street front restaurant.