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LAFAYETTE, LA-Despite a halt because of Mother Nature’s fury, the $9-million renovation of the 327-room Hilton Lafayette has been completed. The major renovation, launched in late spring 2005, had to be stopped temporarily in early September as refugees from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina poured in from beleaguered coastal areas.

“There was so much demand for the rooms, we couldn’t continue renovations during that period,” a spokeswoman for the hotel at 1521 W. Pinhook Rd. tells GlobeSt.com. “We were at 100% occupancy from September to mid-November.” As a result, part of the work also involved minor clean-up of the rooms. “People were living out of their rooms steadily for a month or two and the rooms got used a lot more,” she says, adding that the extra cleanup was added to the renovation task list.

A growing demand for higher-end hotels in the area initially prompted manager Interstate Hotels & Resorts Inc. of Arlington, VA to undertake the overhaul of the 1983-constructed Hilton Lafayette. The hotel, one of three full-service properties in the area, underwent a soft-goods replacement in 2001. The more recent make-over–guest rooms, lobbies and meeting rooms–involved “going down to the cement and starting again from there,” the contact says.

Moline Construction Management Inc. of Dallas was the general contractor and Mitchell Carlson & Stone of Houston was the interior designer. Interstate Hotels’ other area hotel, the Holiday Inn Lafayette at 2032 N. East Evangeline Thruway also is undergoing renovation.

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