COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A new downtown Columbus hotel opened without much fanfare Thursday night.

The Hampton Inn at the northwest corner of Broadway and 12th Street marks the fourth new downtown hotel to open in the past two years.

This hotel has been more than five years in the planning and construction process. But the 93-room Hampton Inn along Broadway is now open for business.

Friday afternoon workers will stilling rearranging the furniture in the new Hampton Inn on Broadway.

But that didn’t stop guests from staying in the latest downtown hotel on Thursday night.

“It’s awesome,” said Cassie Myers, Director of Marketing for the Pezold Companies. “You could feel the excitement here yesterday with all of our staff. And then as we welcomed guests for the first time. It was really cool.”

One of those guests agreed. Julius Schmid is a college swimmer from Maimi who is in Columbus for a meet.

“So, it was pretty amazing. Like the beds were completely fresh, completely unused. The rooms, the toilets, whatever,” Schmid said. “So, it was a great experience. The walls are fresh. And sometimes you could smell the new scent of the building. It was quite impressive.”

This hotel has been an on-again, off-again project since 2018 when the old Aaron’s Rents building was demolished. Construction was halted in March 2020 because of COVID. It started back last year.

The Hampton – a Hilton Hotel – is owned by the Pezold companies and marks the third downtown hotel they own and operate. The others are the 178-room Marriott at the Trade Center and the 62-room City Mills Hotel just north of the TSYS campus and next to the new Mercer University Medical School. 

Two other downtown hotels, the AC Hotel on Broadway just a few doors down from the Hampton Inn and Hotel Indigo along the river opened in early 2021. With the AC Hotel, the Hotel Indigo, and the Hampton Inn there are now more than 380 new downtown hotel rooms counting the City Mills Hotel. And if you throw in the existing Merriott next to the Trade Center was renovated during Covid, the total downtown hotel rooms is nearly 560.

The Hampton Inn also has a little different look and feel than the original plans, which called for a Broadway entrance. That’s now a workout room with a view of the city.

“Just because 12th is a little easier to access than Broadway sometimes,” Myers said. “A lot of times Broadway gets really busy, really congested. The last thing that you want to do if you are on Broadway and trying to make it all the way down to the RiverCenter for a show is get stuck behind a bus that’s trying to unload into the hotel. So, 12th just made more sense. It gave us a little more access. And it’s something that’s just a little different.”

And the parking deck is still under construction.

“We have got a great partnership with Uptown Valet,” Myers said. “So, we are able to valet park guests as they arrive. And we also have parking in the Bay Avenue parking garage. As I said, lots of great partnerships, and everybody has got a place to park. They can pull right up to the front and not have to worry about it. Or have somebody come grab their car when they are ready to leave.”

The room rates at the Hampton Inn range from 175 dollars a night to $250 depending on occupancy.