Just in time for the onslaught of college basketball fanatics, a new 10,000 square-foot "barcade" — that is, a boozy video game emporium — is opening across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. But the debut of Game-X is just part of a bevy of tourism-centric projects and initiatives under way near Atlanta's sporting colliseums and signature downtown greenspace, as the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Sure, there's dirt turning at the future College Football Hall of Fame and Civil Rights museum, and physical evidence of The Streetcar is emerging, but the newspaper reports that hotel developers could be scouting sites near the Georgia Aquarium, while existing hotels are swapping brands faster than the new "flagship" Waffle House is scattering and smothering hash browns.
The Atlanta Marriot Downtown (near the Tabernacle) has been reflagged as a DoubleTree by Hilton, while next door the Hampton Inn & Suites was bought by a New York company as part of a five-hotel deal, the newspaper reports.
Perhaps more exciting is the planned spruce-up for Centennial Olympic Park. With corporate sponsorships and other private funding, park officials and the greenspace's original architects hope to fund a list of improvements that will up the comfort factor for park visitors. Some ideas announced last fall: a beer garden, terrace restaurant, a large carousel and, um, on-street parking. By May 1, park leaders and architects hope whittle their ideas into a "Top 10" list.