IBJNews

Canterbury to change name, close for 9-month renovation

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Downtown’s historic Canterbury Hotel will close for a major renovation at the beginning of next year and reopen nine months later with a new name and international affiliation.

RockBridge, a hotel investment firm based in Columbus, Ohio, will invest about $9.5 million in a comprehensive redesign of the 12-story, 99-room hotel in 2014, according to Ted Stimson, vice president of RockBridge. The firm bought the hotel in June.

“Everything that a guest touches or sees will be brand new,” Stimson told IBJ on Tuesday. “Today’s business travelers want all the bells and whistles. … We’re trying to bring the hotel up to modern standards as much as we can.

“We’ll try to honor the historic nature of the hotel, but there are a lot of things where it’s just time to change,” Stimson said.

The renovation will include redesigning guest rooms, revamping elevators and mechanical systems, and completely reconfiguring the first and second floors. The work is expected to last about nine months, beginning in January but with no solid date yet for completion.

The hotel’s exterior is expected to remain essentially the same, with a few cosmetic touchups.

The structure dates back to 1928, when it opened as a 200-room hotel called the Lockerbie. Later named the Warren, it was purchased in 1983 by local businessmen and renovated as an intimate luxury hotel with its current name.

The downtown high-end market has become more crowded recently with the construction of the $100 million Conrad Indianapolis and the $450 million JW Marriott complex. The Alexander, a high-end boutique hotel property with 209 rooms, opened in January.

“You’ve had so many hotels open downtown with great quality offerings, and the Canterbury just couldn’t compete,” Stimson said. “This is what we do. We find undercapitalized hotels and fix them.”

Since 1992, RockBridge has invested nearly $3 billion in hotels across the country, according to its website.

One key element to RockBridge’s plan to revive the Canterbury’s relevance is to affiliate the hotel with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. It will adopt Starwood’s luxurious Le Meridien brand, and carry the full name Le Meridien Indianapolis Canterbury Hotel.

The value of the affiliation is the ability to connect with business travelers and vacationing guests who subscribe to Starwood’s rewards system, as well as the name recognition that comes from Starwood and the brand.

“Some business travelers—some of the road warriors out there—are Starwood guys, and they want their Starwood points,” Stimson said. “Some corporations have aligned with particular brands. A lot of companies can’t stay in the Canterbury right now, and that is a huge amount of business that the hotel is missing.”

The Canterbury Kitchen & Bar also will close during the renovation, Stimson said.

“With what we’re doing with the elevators and reconfiguration of space on the first and second floors, you’re just going to make people mad with the construction, and that doesn’t help anybody,” he said.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Starwood Guys
    Uhm, there are plenty of Starwood GALS out there too.
  • Sidewalk
    I'm happy to see the investment in downtown Indy. If they would reconfigure their valet operation to not park cars all over the sidewalk, I'd be really impressed.
  • Good news...
    Great to see another company invest in downtown Indianapolis....thank you.
  • Great News
    Location, Location, Location. This boutique hotel will do great after it gets long over due upgrades and gets access to a much larger reservation network. My fear is that $9.5 million will not be enough to fully upgrade the hotel to five star status. It will also be interesting to see how they implement the awkward Le Meridien Indianapolis Canterbury Hotel branding name.
  • Great news
    As a long time fan of the Canterbury and Starwoid Platium I think this is just great and the property with its superb location should do great!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  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.

ADVERTISEMENT