Montgomery, Alabama—known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement—has announced its new developments for 2021, including the destination’s first luxury hotel, an Autograph Collection property, as well a diversity, equity and inclusion training experience for groups.
Located on the banks of the Alabama River, Montgomery has played a pivotal role in America’s history for 200 years, witnessing the formation of the Confederate government to the birth of the civil rights movement. Today, the river town continues to evolve and is currently experiencing a cultural resurgence. In 2019, Montgomery topped the billion-dollar mark for the first time in the city’s history with a record $1.025 billion generated in total revenue.
See below for Montgomery’s new accommodations, retail developments, cultural experiences and culinary offerings:
Accommodations and Spaces
Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel Property
Construction is underway on the state’s third Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel property, transforming Montgomery’s Murphy House into the city’s first boutique property in the historic downtown. The luxury hotel will have 100 rooms and suites, as well as a restaurant and corporate meeting space. The multimillion-dollar hotel will add a rooftop to the Murphy House’s neighboring warehouse building and a fifth floor to house a bar, restaurant, upper-floor guestrooms and courtyards. The anticipated opening is late 2021.
Historic Fire Station Airbnb
Found in Cottage Hill's historic Five Points Fire Station with views overlooking downtown, this modern loft is a "one-of-a-kind" space. Located directly on the historic Selma-to-Montgomery Trail and one block away from The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, this recently restored loft is just minutes from numerous historic sites and other attractions in downtown Montgomery.
Cottage Hill Development
Currently developing multiple retail spaces just outside of Montgomery’s oldest residential neighborhood located on a hill overlooking the recently revitalized downtown, Hilltop Development & Hospitality Group, LLC are creators of community-based retail and hospitality spaces with a focus on revitalizing historic buildings. One of the first businesses slated to open in early 2021 is a bike shop and coffee bar that will cater to the casual urban explorer, offering used bikes and tune-ups as well as locally roasted coffee.
The 1616 Venue
Currently under restoration and opening in spring 2021, The 1616 House is Montgomery's newest event venue, honoring the historical significance of the property, while enveloping it in contemporary luxury. From the outdoor garden sites to the restored indoor rooms, The 1616 Venue provides a setting to exchange wedding vows, celebrate special occasions or hold a corporate gathering.
Diversity Programming and Purposeful Experiences
Montgomery’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Experience
Tourism professionals in Montgomery are currently curating a unique diversity, equity and inclusion training experience for groups of any size. The experience will allow visitors to move throughout the city, a pivotal location to the American civil rights and social justice movements, engaging in a dialogue with experts, icons and each other around these vital issues. Professional diversity trainers will help weave the lessons of yesterday and the inspiration of today’s changemakers into daily practice for participants. Montgomery’s walkable and deeply historic downtown, as well as its civil rights experiences, are the ideal setting for corporate, social or other groups seeking more than a typical tour can offer.
The Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum have both officially reopened with new exhibits; tickets are required due to limited capacity and social distancing precautions. The memorial has also announced extended nighttime viewing hours made available on the weekends. Located outdoors on a six-acre park, this space is the nation’s first and only memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved African Americans who died by lynching. Since opening to the public in April 2018, the thought-provoking cultural experience has been visited by more than 800,000 visitors.
Old Alabama Town
Visitors can see a reimagined Old Alabama Town through tours focused on architectural history, urban slavery, labor movements in Alabama, the development of neighborhoods, historic everyday life and topics in historic preservation. The museum will soon launch a new mobile app in association with Time Looper that will enrich the presentation of the site with the help of virtual and augmented reality. Old Alabama Town has completely authentic 19th- and early 20th-century homes and buildings that have been saved from demolition, carefully restored and reopened to the public as a history museum that teaches how early Americans of all backgrounds lived and worked in Central Alabama.
Common Bond Brewers
Common Bond, Montgomery’s only production brewery, is now canning its award-winning Zelda Blonde, an American blonde ale that will be the first-ever canned beer distributed outside of the city. Montgomery residents Andrew McNally and Tim Doles created Common Bond to give tri-county residents a beer to call their own and a space for the community to gather and form a common bond. Located in the downtown business and entertainment district and close to important historical sites, this brewery also plays an active part in the city's ongoing revitalization efforts.
Vintage Hospitality Group’s Freight Farm: MGM Greens
In partnership with Alabama Power, Vintage Hospitality Group is redefining modern agriculture with its state-of-the-art hydroponic farm, which is housed inside a compact shipping container. This smart farm is self-contained, grown vertically and hydroponically without soil, receiving its nutrition from minimal water and light energy from powerful LED lights. Vintage Hospitality Group is now expanding MGM Greens to include a second freight farm, allowing the group to sell retail, supply fresh produce to its restaurants Vintage Café and Vintage Year and further curate its menus based on new, successful crops.
Vintage Hospitality’s New Opening: Ravello
Located within the restored City Fed development at 36 and 46 Commerce Street in downtown Montgomery, Vintage Hospitality’s flagship Italian restaurant, Ravello, will have simple and thoughtful dishes inspired by Italy's Amalfi Coast. Patrons can enjoy seafood and pasta highlights, as well as specialty cocktails, handpicked beer and wine. The anticipated opening is spring 2021.