AC Hotel by Marriott becomes second new downtown Columbus hotel as upper Broadway resurgence continues

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COLUMBUS, Ga, (WRBL) For the second time in less than three months, a new downtown Columbus hotel has opened its doors.

The new $125-room AC Hotel by Marriott opened its doors Thursday morning in the 1200 block of Broadway.

It took nearly four decades for a new downtown hotel to open. With the opening of the AC Hotel by Marriott two new hotels have opened in less than three months. A Hotel Indigo opened along Front Avenue on the river.

The new AC Hotel by Marriott opened along Broadway Thursday. There was no fanfare.

Jim Morpeth has been selling barbecue a block away from the new hotel since 1988. He saw a new Hotel Indigo open behind him earlier this year.

“We came downtown when there was nothing here.”Morpeth said. “Just the mill. We lived through that. We have lived through COVID and a million other problems.”

The history of downtown can be told in old pictures, many of them hanging on the wall inside Country’s.

And some of the new stuff is different from what it replaced.

“The AC brand is a life-style hotel,” said Andrea Vawter, director of sales at the AC Hotel. “It is European inspired with Spanish roots.”

While the AC Hotel is a different look and feel for downtown, the idea of change is not new.

“There have been so many changes and they have all worked out,” Morpeth said.

In the late 1990s, TSYS helped usher in the change along upper Broadway.

Hotels, upscale apartments and condominiums are all now around Morpeth and his building that is a relic of the past.

Tens of millions of dollars of investment has been made. And more to come as the W.C. Bradley Company building more retail, apartment and office space all around Country’s.

“It feels like I knew what I was doing when I bought it,” Morpeth said. “And I didn’t and I have gotten lucky. Is what it feels like. (Laugh)”

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