Bobby Guidry buys New Orleans Warehouse District hotels in multi-million dollar deal –

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Broussard businessman Bobby Guidry and Florida-based developer David Bansmer have purchased the dual-branded Marriott Courtyard/Spring Hill Suites hotels in the Warehouse District near the Convention Center for $73 million.

The purchase of the hotels, which together have 410 rooms and are located on nearly an entire city block bounded by Julia, S. Peters and St. Joseph streets one block from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, is the first significant hotel sale in the New Orleans area in more than a year.

It also signals that some investors have faith in the city’s hospitality industry as it continues to recover from COVID-era shutdowns, said Len Wormser, whose firm, HREC, brokered the deal.

Average occupancy in downtown hotels in 2023 was about 65%, according to New Orleans and Co., about 5% lower than 2019 occupancy rates. 

“It’s a positive development because it’s an in-state investor and signals something of a rebound in the market, which is going to have some significant tail winds over the next 18 months with Taylor Swift, the Super Bowl and some major conventions,” Wormser said.

Guidry is best known for growing the fishing company started in the 1940s by his late father, Numa Guidry, into Harvey Gulf International Marine, a major offshore supply vessel company now run by his son, Shane Guidry.

Guidry was also a one-time confidant of the late Gov. Edwin Edwards who got one of 10 coveted riverboat casino licenses for the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner. He later admitted to bribing Edwards and was the lead witness at his trial.

Bobby Guidry

Bobby Guidry is shown at his attorney’s office in New Orleans on Jan. 9, 2002.

For the past two decades, however, he has been involved in commercial real estate development in New Orleans and other cities.

He and Bansmer developed the 19-story Marriott Residence Inn on St. Charles Avenue in the Central Business District several years ago on the site of a former surface parking lot.

They also developed a 235-room, dual-branded Town Place/Springhill Suites hotel in Orlando near the entrance to Disney World. That property was later acquired by real estate investors for a record price in the Orlando area, Bransmer said.

Bransmer said the New Orleans deal was a “no brainer” because of the property’s location across from the Convention Center, the health of the city’s tourism industry and the strength of the Marriott brand.

He noted that the multi-million-dollar investments currently underway at the Convention Center, which includes a linear park that stretches down much of Convention Center Blvd., as one rationale for the purchase.

“You can see the investment going on in the Convention Center, and we were able to purchase them for what we feel is a little bit of value, so it made sense,” Bransmer said.

Guidry was traveling and could not be reached for comment. But in a prepared statement he said, “Clearly, I am very bullish on New Orleans. This city has more to offer visitors than any other in our country.”

(Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify the location of the hotel.)

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