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New Orleans Marriott Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Hotel Marks Milestone by Honoring Charter Associates, Announcing a Community Donation and Lighting Up the New Orleans Skyline

Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The world's widest business throughfare. The bus lanes are in the center of the street to facilitate traffic flow. Credit: The History New Orleans Collection

In the summer of 1972, the 42-story New Orleans Marriott opened as the tallest building in New Orleans and signaled the city’s rise as one of the country’s top meeting and convention destinations. Fifty years later, with 1,333 guest rooms and over 85,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel is marking this notable milestone by giving back to its associates, guests and local community, as well as lighting up the New Orleans skyline as it did five decades earlier.

“The key to the success of this hotel starts with our associate-first culture and transcends through to our guests and the community,” says General Manager Frank Zumbo. “Even as new hotels opened in New Orleans, our tenured associates, guests and group clients have remained loyal to this property. We’re extremely proud to recognize six associates who have worked here and called the New Orleans Marriott home since day one. It’s an incredible accomplishment.”    

The New Orleans Marriott executive team is honoring the six charter associates, Carol Mitchell, Gloria Mejia, Hattie Russ, Linda Toney, Sarah Zenzo and William Currie, with a special anniversary dinner at Arnaud’s that includes surprises and a 50th anniversary gift.

In addition to its associate-first culture, giving back to the local communities where its hotels reside is an integral part of Marriott’s business. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the New Orleans Marriott is proud to announce a partnership with Son of a Saint, a local organization dedicated to fatherless boys ages 10–18, to provide back-to-school supplies for 50 young men. The hotel will present the organization with a check at a ceremony on July 20th at 10:30 a.m. in the hotel lobby.

“The New Orleans community supports us through the good times and the challenges. We have always tried to do the same,” notes Zumbo. “We selected Son of a Saint as a partner to celebrate this momentous occasion with us as the organization represents the spirit of New Orleans, which gives generously of itself each day. It provides mentorship, education and other support to help fill a void in the lives of young men growing up without a father.”

As the first convention hotel in New Orleans, the New Orleans Marriott helped bolster a $9 billion tourism industry that now draws more than 18.5 million visitors to the city annually. To mark the celebration on July 20, the hotel is serving signature 50th anniversary cocktails at 1972 prices at 55 Fahrenheit bar in the Greatroom all day. Then, to cap off its golden anniversary as dusk starts to settle over the Crescent City, the New Orleans Marriott will light up the skyline with a 50 in the building windows. The lights will appear on the city-side of the larger tower around 8:30 p.m. and will stay on for approximately 30 minutes. 

“The opening of the New Orleans Marriott Hotel on historic Canal Street in 1972, with its massively handsome guest tower that could be seen for miles, further solidified New Orleans’ position as a world-class destination for leisure, business and convention visitors,” comments Mark Romig, Chief Marketing Officer for New Orleans & Company. “In addition, over these past five decades, the Marriott has provided thousands of citizens with opportunities to build a career in the tourism industry, combining the unique hospitality of New Orleans with world-class Marriott service.” 

“We are excited to celebrate our milestone event with the many guests who have spent time with us over the years,” adds Scott Jernstrom, Director of Sales and Marketing for the New Orleans Marriott. “We owe our success to them, and we look forward to welcoming them back and raising a glass for another 50 years.” For more information on the New Orleans Marriott, visit Marriott.com/MSYLA.