The 120-room Quality Suites Hotel near Interstate 10 and Bluebonnet Boulevard has been rebranded and is now a Wyndham Garden.
Mike Wampold, head of the Wampold Companies, which owns the hotel, said the decision to change the name of the property followed an extensive renovation. “This is a new product, so it needs a new name,” he said.
The hotel is the second Wyndham Garden in Louisiana, joining one on Baronne Street in New Orleans’ Central Business District.
The Wampold Companies, which also owns the nearby Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, bought the Quality Suites in July 2011 for $2.3 million.
The company soon launched an extensive renovation, which included remodeling guest rooms, replacing the roofs, installing new mechanical systems, revamping the restaurant, bar and lobby and redoing the exterior.
“The work we did on it wasn’t as dramatic as the Renaissance, but it was pretty dang close,” Wampold said.
Before it opened last fall, the Renaissance was a partially completed dorm.
Work on the dorm stopped in 1989, after sex scandals crippled the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart’s ministry.
Wampold said Wyndham is an up-and-coming brand that doesn’t have a presence in the Baton Rouge market. In contrast, there are several Quality-branded properties in the Capital Region.
“This hotel languished for so many years, we felt we needed to change the name of it to remove the negative associations,” Wampold said. “Quality Suites had deteriorated since Hurricane Katrina.”
The hotel changed its name Wednesday, and the property is sold out for its first weekend as a Wyndham Garden because of Saturday’s big LSU-Alabama football game.
“So much for a soft opening,” Wampold joked.
“We’ll have full pressure applied.”
Future plans for the Wyndham Garden could involve putting a separate identity on the bar and restaurant, like the Renaissance has done with its Tallulah bar and restaurant. “We might do something with that,” Wampold said.