ASHLAND, Ky. — 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.”

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.

“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.