City officials and business leaders welcomed the newest hotel to downtown Tuscaloosa Tuesday night at the grand opening of the Homewood Suites on Jack Warner Parkway, where management said the new place to stay is exactly the thing the Druid City needs right now.

"We're excited to be in town, especially in a developing part of the city," said Cody Duffey, General Manager at Homewood Suites Tuscaloosa. "This city needs more room for people to stay when they visit, especially come fall."

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(Noah Lueker, Townsquare Media)

The hotel boasts 114 suites across six stories and a hip new rooftop bar called The 205. The building's interior is covered wall-to-wall with Bama memorabilia, including a photo wall featuring artistic renderings of all former and present Crimson Tide football coaches and reproduced vintage Bama sports tickets hanging in certain rooms.

Likely the biggest attraction can be found in the back of the lobby: a massive wall mural depicting the University of Alabama's iconic Denny Chimes in a brick houndstooth pattern. The majority of this interior design was done by UA alumna Andrea Gillespie.

(Noah Lueker, Townsquare Media)

Jim Page, the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, said roughly 90% of the hotel's construction was completed by Tuscaloosa companies.

"I walked in the door and was blown away," Page said. "This property has been a lot of things over the years - a garbage dump, parking lot... I don't think any of us could have imagined how special of a development could end up right here."

(Noah Lueker, Townsquare Media)

Duffey told The Thread that he wasn't too concerned about the construction going underway right outside their back door on Jack Warner Parkway by the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, which will block most of the road around the new hotel for the next several months.

"Of course it's not ideal, but I don't see it as that much of a problem," Duffey said. "We have so many people here tonight showing their support and enjoying the new hotel. I just hope that it wraps up by football season."

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