Downtown Decatur, GA has come a long way in the past ten years. What used to be a town with an odd, funky collection of mismatched shops and restaurants has matured into an adorable, walkable, fun and still funky village of boutique stores, fabulous restaurants and outstanding brewpubs. Earlier this year, Decatur was named Georgia’s Most Walkable City, by Walkscore.com, and the award brought even more well-deserved attention to our fine little town.
All this attention means that more companies will want to entertain their clients in Decatur, and until now, there really hasn’t been any stellar hotel options near downtown Decatur. Which is a shame, because the MARTA (Atlanta’s public transportation system – our subway) has a stop smack in the middle of downtown Decatur, meaning that business clients can easily access Decatur for the day from the Airport — but where would they stay overnight? There’s a Super 8 about a 5-10 minute walk from central downtown Decatur, but it’s a very basic hotel with few amenities. The only other option used to be a Holiday Inn, but that was converted into the Decatur Inn and Conference Center, and while an OK hotel, it’s really nothing to write home about. It’s clean and comfortable, but nothing snazzy.
I actually visited the Decatur Inn and Conference Center to check it out in anticipation of my family’s visit this September, and I learned that the hotel is getting a facelift and will become a Marriott Courtyard between October and March. Hurray! This is a development the City of Decatur needs to heavily market in order to entice more visitors to stay there. Most visitors to Atlanta stay in downtown or Midtown Atlanta hotels, as that’s where most of them are. But, there’s enough to see and do in downtown Decatur to warrant the addition of a good, high-quality hotel chain.
One of the places I think will benefit most from this addition will be Avondale Estates’ Community Center. It’s situated directly on a lake and is surrounded by beautiful grounds. So, it’s a very popular choice for weddings. Their business should pick up even more once the Marriott Courtyard has been opened – it will be a lovely place for wedding guests to spend the night, and the hotel will only be a 5-10 minute drive from the Community Center.