Downtown Westin Hotel to kick off $14 million renovation

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The Westin Hotel, a four-star lodging establishment in downtown Indianapolis, will undergo a $14 million renovation starting in November.

The Westin will stay open during the renovation, which is set to be complete Feb. 12. The revamp, which will include overhauling all 13 floors and 573 guest rooms,  will be done by closing three floors at a time, said Dale McCarty, Westin general manager.

“We’re fast-tracking this,” McCarty said. “Each three-floor phase will take 22 days. One of those phases will include four floors.”

The project is the last segment of a three-phase remake of the hotel. The Westin, which opened in 1989, remodeled its lobby and common areas in 2011 and all its public meeting spaces in 2008.

“This has all been part of a cycle to keep this facility completely updated,” McCarty said. “In the last five years, we’ve spent $25 million in renovations, and it’s all been self-funded.”

The Westin takes a portion of its annual profits and puts them in a fund for scheduled upgrades and remodels, he said.

The Westin overhaul is the latest in a flurry of local hotel improvements since the 1,005-room JW Marriott opened downtown in early 2011.

The 499-room Hyatt Regency this year completed a $20 million renovation and, after a months-long initiative led by former General Manager Brian Comes, was bumped from a AAA three-diamond to four-diamond rating this fall.

The Crowne Plaza is undergoing a $9 million renovation set to be completed in late December. Owners of The Canterbury announced last month that their historic hotel will begin a $9.5 million overhaul in January. That massive renovation will close the downtown hotel for nine months.

The upcoming renovation at the Westin will include new flooring, draperies, refrigerators and custom-made furniture in each guest room, as well as new bathroom lighting and vanities featuring Delta Faucets.

All bedroom night stands will include lamps wired with multiple electrical outlets. Head boards will offer individual lighting for each guest. New work spaces in each room will feature TeleAdapt units allowing guests to power multiple devices simultaneously. The Westin also will install enhanced high-speed internet.

Westin officials designed the enhancements based on years of client surveys and other input.

“The location and number of outlets and high-speed internet bandwidth are very important to our clients,” McCarty said. “Everybody is traveling with three or four electronic devices, and we want them to be able to use all of them simultaneously if they want. We know everybody these days is multi-tasking, and we want to make sure we can accommodate that.”

The renovations will have no bearing on room rates, McCarty said. According to the IBJ’s most recent list of the city’s most expensive hotel rooms, the Westin reported that its rooms sold for between $159 and $499 per night.

“We’ll come out of this with a much better product, but there will be no effect on our prices,” McCarty said. “That’s completely driven by demand.”

To show off the upgrades, Westin officials are planning a grand re-opening in March, inviting some of the Indianapolis hotel’s regular corporate clients as well as a number of meeting and convention planners and association bosses from Washington, D.C.

“We think this renovation is going to have a big impact on our facility,” McCarty said. “And we want to make sure our customers are aware of it.”

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