Construction is progressing on a new, 90 room boutique hotel in downtown Indianapolis and tourism officials say the work serves as a signal that Indy is faring better than other cities in the post-pandemic economy. Hotel Indy is slated to open in October in the former State Life Insurance building. It will be the second specialty hotel to open in Indy within a year, following the December 2020 opening of the Bottleworks Hotel inside the former Coca-Cola Bottling plant in what’s now known as the Bottleworks District.
“That’s an anomaly that’s not happening in other cities across the United States,” Visit Indy Senior Vice President of Marketing Chris Gahl said to Around INdiana reporter Mary-Rachel Redman. “That’s an anomaly that’s catching the attention of developers nationwide and of convention event professionals saying, ‘how is it able to open not one, but two within a year.”
While scaffolding, construction materials and hard-hatted workers fill the six-story structure right now, plans are for the $30 million project to welcome its first guests this fall.
“This will be the vestibule that you walk in off Virginia Street,” explained Hotel Indy Director of Sales Tina Crawford during a tour. “Check in right here, soft seating all through here.”
Gahl says because of Hotel Indy’s location at the intersection of Washington and Delaware Streets, it will provide visitors with unique experiences.
“It’s walkable from the convention center. It’s also walkable to many restaurants and bars. It’s also across the street from the Cultural Trail. Guests to the hotel can grab a bike or just canvass the city via foot,” said Gahl.
Downtown Indianapolis currently has 8,100 hotel rooms, and about 32,000 in the metro area. While many hotels closed temporarily during the pandemic, Gahl says the current occupancy rate is about 50%, which matches the national average. “We know that other major cities are still hurting. They are not hosting events. They haven’t had a March Madness, they don’t have this momentum,” explained Gahl. “And that’s both rewarding, but also bittersweet because we know other cities aren’t in the position Indy is presently.”
Gahl says Visit Indy’s projections show continued demand for hotel rooms during the third and fourth quarters of the year. “We know these rooms will be sought after. We’ll continue to recover in a sizeable way, in a meaningful way.”