The Hilton name coming is pretty good and has the right upscale image that city planners desire. Of course, so would have been Marriott, apparently the other contender. Nobody was expecting a Four Seasons, after all.
What Rome’s officials did expect, and now have within grasp, is a full-service hotel of 100-plus rooms, described as being five stories atop a lower parking level. Hilton apparently agreed whereas Marriott wanted something a step down from full service.
Rome is correct to have held out for this, not only because of the prime location (opposite Barron Stadium, a block from the new cancer center and two blocks from the Floyd Medical Center complex, across the new pedestrian bridge from Town Green and all of Broad Street’s liveliness). Nor even because, obviously, “full service” denotes more employment opportunities as well as likely longer stays by guests. Indeed, downtown already has had a smaller taste of this in the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham (which has current expansion plans).
Rather, it is because Rome’s downtown is overall already heavily “full service” when contrasted to fast-food and quick-nap stopovers.
Stop and consider that for a moment: Downtown’s “comeback” has been built around quality, not quantity.