NOPSI has officially been a thing of the past since the mid-1980s, but that doesn't mean you won't hear dyed-in-the-wool New Orleanians still using the acronym for New Orleans Public Service, Inc., the city's former utility and transit company.
Now the developers of a new hotel opening at the former site of the local utility and transportation company's headquarters in the Central Business District want to make the most of that nostalgia.
The new NOPSI Hotel, which is set to open in June at Baronne and Union Streets, is seeking items relating to the history of New Orleans Public Service, Inc. for display in the hotel.
The hotel announced Wednesday that it is creating a museum-style collection and is asking the community to donate any items that would honor NOPSI’s history. That could include everything from manhole covers and streetcar tokens to photos, posters, signs, tickets, payment books and copies of Riders Digest (the little newsletters that were handed out on buses and streetcars).
“Since we first announced our plans, we have heard hundreds of wonderful stories from the people of New Orleans about NOPSI,” said Ellen LeMaire, the hotel’s general manager, in a news release. “We wanted to share these memories and so decided to create a public collection of artifacts.”
Each donated item enters the provider into a drawing to win a two-night stay for two in the rooftop Presidential Suite and spa treatments for two, along with dinner for two in Public Service and breakfast in the Lobby Café.
All items can mailed or delivered to: NOPSI Memorabilia Collection, NOPSI Sales Office, 935 Gravier Street, Suite 120, New Orleans, LA 70112. Electronic items and scans can be sent via e-mail to NOPSI@salamanderhotels.com. Where possible, items should be identified along with a year, and also include a contact name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Unless otherwise indicated, all submissions will be considered donations.
For entries to be considered part of the contest, they must be received by May 31.
The 217-room luxury hotel will be located in the NOPSI building, a historic landmark which originally opened in 1927 and is being restored. NOPSI became Entergy New Orleans in the 1980s and moved out of the building at 317 Baronne.