In 2023, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority charged ahead in constructing the largest ground-up hotel project in Atlanta in 40 years, adding another gem to its crown of downtown Atlanta landmarks. 

Completed in January, the $326-million Signia by Hilton Atlanta is the latest amenity for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), joining its other destinations, like the home of the Atlanta Falcons, Mercedez-Benz Stadium, Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia World Congress Center itself, hosting more than 160 events in the past fiscal year with nearly 200,000 attendees. GWCCA ranks as the largest combined convention, sports and entertainment campus in North America.

ENR Southeast dug deeper into GWCCA’s hotel project in May, profiling how the project had to navigate a maze of utilities and underground foundations from the former Georgia Dome, persisting through the COVID-19 pandemic that shook the construction and hospitality industries. 

The Authority pressed pause on plans for the hotel, but keeping confident in the market demand, it pushed ahead with the project in 2021, making it a bellwether to see how the pandemic-stricken market would react to bond issuances for the roughly 1,000-room hotel. 

GWCCA COO Kevin Duvall told ENR at the time that GWCCA “felt the long-term viability was solid and that we would bounce back. And we have.” 

That persistence continues to pay dividends with the now-complete hotel, which features 976 rooms in the 42-story tower and a 400,000-sq-ft grand ballroom constructed without columns by using long-span trusses of more than 200ft. 

GWCCA also manages the Savannah Convention Center, including an ongoing $276-million expansion project to double its exhibit hall space and add a 900-space parking deck. 

The Authority kept up with ambitious plans in 2023 despite navigating market uncertainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that had a marked impact on hospitality markets, a successful strategy that’s put GWCCA in a position to continue growing and continue making its mark on the Atlanta skyline as it looks to the future. 

GWCCA will be profiled in ENR Southeast’s March 25 edition as the 2024 Owner of the Year, chosen from among standout owners the magazine has written about in the past calendar year. We’ll dig into what makes GWCCA tick, as well as its decision to push forward with the landmark hotel, and its other completed and planned capital projects.