Baton Rouge hotels reopening to public, may have rooms for Auburn game

Hotels in Baton Rouge have been booked with evacuees and emergency personnel for weeks following Hurricane Ida, but some are starting to open to the public again.

Most hotels in Baton Rouge are starting to have inventory open back up, says Scott Michelet, general manager at Crowne Plaza, as more first responders finish up their initial jobs in the area.

Hotel Indigo is booking visitors again, says Miranda Barcelona, director of operations, and will have rooms available for the first weekend in October.

However, the downtown hotel continues to house FEMA evacuees, traveling nurses and disaster responders helping with drainage, mold removal and downed trees.

The Renaissance Hotel on Bluebonnet Boulevard has seen some evacuees and first responders leave, General Manager Nathaniel Tannehill says, but many have simply been replaced. Many evacuees from Orleans and Jefferson parishes were able to go home, but some from Terrebonne and Lafourche are staying longer.

The Renaissance is almost sold out through the first weekend of October, Tannehill says, but after that it should open up a bit more.

For the last two LSU home games, hotels in Baton Rouge were almost completely booked, forcing fans to use Airbnbs or drive home after the games. The next home game and first SEC home game of the season—against Auburn—is Oct. 2.

Crowne Plaza hopes to house fans for the Auburn game, Michelet says, but it depends on if emergency personnel need to prolong their stay.

Hotel Indigo will not turn away any first responders, Barcelona says, but for Auburn weekend it will not charge the lowered government rate it has been giving, as the hotel has those days marked as blackout dates in order to host fans.

The Renaissance, which had to cancel some reservations for previous home games, has not had to do so for Auburn game reservations, Tannehill says, but everything depends on evacuees and responders being able to get back home.

This story originally appeared in a Sept. 22 edition of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.