Canterbury still hosting celebrities after 28 years

February 1, 2012
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Canterbury John GipsonDowntown was practically a ghost town when John Gipson began as a doorman at the Canterbury Hotel 27 years ago. The Mile Square had just a handful of hotels with fewer than 1,000 total rooms, no shopping mall and zero nightlife.

For years after the Canterbury opened in 1984 in a hotel building that had been vacant 15 years, anyone who was anyone visiting Indianapolis would stay there. Not that there were other options.

And as much as Indianapolis has changed—there are now more than 7,000 hotel rooms downtown including newer luxury rooms at the Conrad Indianapolis and JW Marriott—plenty of celebrities still stay at the 12-story hotel built in 1928 and once known as the Lockerbie.

Among its guests for the Super Bowl week: Alec Baldwin, Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood.

When he was a younger man, Gipson said he "never dreamed" Indianapolis would host a Super Bowl.

Now 73 and a front-row witness to a city's transformation, Gipson was feeling a bit more confident on Wednesday as he watched the action from his post at the entrance to the 99-room hotel on Illinois Street.

"I predict we'll get many more Super Bowls here," he said.

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  • Thank You
    Grateful that the late F.C. "Bud" Tucker and his partners had the vision to rescue this property from the wrecking ball when there were many reasons to look the other way in the mid-1980s.
  • What about Turner Woodard
    And let's not forget that Turner Woodard had the imagination and financial ability to take this gem to the next level. When he boldly stepped upt and invested what was required to bring the hotel back (again) he made the above "star power" possible. If left in its previous state the Canterbury's future may have been doubtful. Thank you Turner.

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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