The newly renovated Delta Hotel by Marriott opened on Wednesday to great fanfare in downtown Ashland.

The long-term project turned the former Ashland Plaza Hotel into a lavish, four-star hotel in the heart of the city. Those staying in the hotel were able to check in when they opened this morning.

“I am over the top (with excitement),” said developer Jimmy Nizzo. “It is just so wonderful to be at this point right now. We promised it would be beyond everyone’s expectations, and we did it.”

Delta by Marriott

A view of the Ohio River and downtown Ashland from the balcony of a tenth floor hospitality suite in the former Ashland Plaza Hotel now a Delta by Marriott. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

The Delta Hotel is the first full service hotel in all of Ashland, providing guests with a Starbucks, two bars and one restaurant.  The restaurant offers a fine dining experience through Winchester Steak, Seafood and Bourbon Bar on the second floor.

It will also include 152 guest rooms, free high speed Internet, hydration stations on every floor, a fitness center and an elite pantry for the Marriott Elite members.

Assistant General Manager Youlanda Lee believes the hotel will bring a lot of jobs to the area.

Delta by Marriott

Youlanda Lee is a assistant manger of the Delta by Marriott. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

“We are really excited to join the community and contribute to the economic growth of Ashland,” said Director of Sales Cara Hedrick.

Nizzo and Andy Spiros purchased the property in September 2017 for $3.6 million. They city helped with construction cost and 1/4th of the total investment through a $4.5 million 20-year Tax Increment Financing, or TIF program.

Delta by Marriott

The former Ashland Plaza Hotel is now the Delta by Marriott. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

“We wanted to create a place that the people of Ashland could be proud of,” said Hedrick. “I think we’ve done that. This is a place people are going to want to tell their friends and family to visit. I think we’ve succeeded in creating that space.”

Hedrick said there were a lot of hotels that provided their guests with nice bed, nice pillows and wifi, but the Delta wanted to be more than that. They hoped when people thought about coming to Ashland, “this is the first place to come to mind.”

“There is no hotel like this one here,” said Lee.

A formal ceremony/grand opening for the hotel is being planned for the end of the summer.