Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- Businesses and community leaders helped officially open Montgomery's new downtown hotel and convention center Thursday. The $200 million project includes 350 guest rooms, a fitness center and spa, and thousands of square feet of meeting and exhibition space.
Mayor Bobby Bright says it's a project three years in the making. It started when the city approached the Retirement Systems of Alabama about investing in an expanded and renovated civic center.
RSA CEO David Bronner agreed to make the investment, but only if the project also included a new 4-star hotel and 1,800-seat performing arts theater. He got what he wanted.
"We're giving people something to do downtown, as opposed to rolling up the streets at night," Bronner said.
Bright added ,"it's just a matter of time before our city becomes what many other cities are out there."
The hotel held its soft opening two weeks ago. The convention center opened last weekend with an RV show. The performing arts center opens in March. There are already dozens of acts books. You find ticket information at www.ticketmaster.com.