WWII Museum breaks ground on new hotel, conference center

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW ORLEANS -- The National WWII Museum broke ground today on a new hotel and conference center.

The 230-room Higgins Hotel & Conference Center, which is scheduled for completion in 2019, will operate as part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The property will support the Museum’s expanding educational programs while offering guests the unique experience of full-service hotel accommodations.

Recently ranked the No. 2 museum in the world and No. 2 in the country by the 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards, the institution has also developed into a national and international travel destination.

“We fundamentally believe that a dedicated space to host educational programs for students, teachers, enthusiasts, corporate groups, reunion groups, and military is a core component of what we should have here at the Museum,” said Stephen J. Watson, President & CEO of the Museum. “When we looked at our last undeveloped piece of land, we wanted to ensure that we created a property that would economically support the Museum’s educational mission, while also enhancing our visitor experience. When you pair that with our increasing visitation, a hotel and conference center is a natural choice.”

In 2017 alone, The National WWII Museum welcomed 700,000 visitors – 85 percent of those visitors came from out of state, and almost half cited the museum as their primary reason for traveling to New Orleans.

Additionally, since 2009, the percentage of museum visitors spending more than three hours on campus has tripled to almost 60 percent, and multi-day visits are growing even faster.