NORFOLK, Va. - The newest upscale conference hotel downtown will be open for visitors in just a few months.
Hilton Norfolk The Main is set to officially open to the public April 1, but on Tuesday, News 3 got a sneak peek of the progress.
The 21-floor hotel, at Main and Granby streets, sits near the waterfront and has 300 rooms for lodging.
It has three eateries including Saltine, which will serve fresh seafood and locally-inspired cuisine, Grain, a rooftop beer garden with 4,000 square feet of outdoor space, and Varia, an Italian trattoria and wine studio with a piano bar.
The Main also has a grand ballroom, the largest hotel ballroom in Virginia, and conference center, and aims to be the ideal spot for lodging, dining, and business.
"It has exceeded anything the city had hoped for," says former Mayor, Paul Fraim.
The city announced back in 2013 that they reached an agreement with developer Bruce Thompson and Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts.
Thompson says so far, the project brought in more than 500 construction jobs. Once the hotel opens, they will have 300 full-time employees, and dozens of part-time.
He says they already booked over 100,000 group room nights, 80 percent of which have not been to Hampton Roads.
"We have conference and meeting facilities here that can literally entertain thousands over the course of the weekend, that will be spilling out onto the streets, connecting with Towne Point Park, connecting with Granby Street," he says. "It really is going to be pivotal for downtown."
On March 24-26, The Main is inviting guests to a private art-focused opening weekend, which will include a variety of art experiences including pop-up exhibits
The entire weekend will benefit the arts community of Hampton Roads with the goal of raising $1 million.
To purchase tickets, visit The Main Event website.