On August 29, 2005, more than 3,800 guests and associates were staying at Hyatt Regency New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. The hotel, then connected by a pedestrian bridge to the Superdome and centrally located adjacent to the Entergy Building and City Hall, became the headquarter location for city officials, emergency crews and national media. Current General Manager Michael O. Smith worked to safely evacuate guests and employees, while also supporting evacuation efforts from the Superdome through the hotel to buses leaving the city. He was named an “unsung hero” in a proclamation by the city of New Orleans.
In the aftermath of the disaster, the battered Hyatt Regency New Orleans became an iconic symbol of the city’s devastation and remained closed for six years. Following an extensive $285-million revitalization, the hotel reopened its doors in the fall of 2011 as the city’s premier hotel destination for meetings, conventions and events.
In an interview with Michael Smith, we reflected on the past decade and the state of our beloved New Orleans today.Read More Share +