INDIANAPOLIS — The Bottleworks Hotel will officially open on Tuesday in downtown Indianapolis. The historic renovation project comes as hotels face historically difficult times.
“Some people would say this is not the ideal time to do it. Our argument would be if not now, then when?” Bottleworks Hotel General Manager Amy Isbell-Williams said with confidence. “We aren’t thinking we will be full next week necessarily, we are thinking so longterm.”
According to the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (InRLA), roughly two-thirds of Indiana hotels are facing bankruptcy. InRLA President and CEO Patrick Tamm says some new hotels near manufacturing or vaccine creation locations have been seeing some growth.
“Indianapolis, more so than any other market relies on group business,” adds Tamm.
The Bottleworks Hotel believes their unique experience will help them survive a potentially slow start. The hotel is built from a 100-year-old plant that used to bottle for Coca-Cola. Isbell-Williams said it was once the largest bottling plant in the world and was pumping out 2.5 million bottles a week.
Geronimo Hospitality Group spared no expense renovating the hotel. At times, it can feel like a living museum infused with luxury. The craftsmanship and attention to detail runs right down to the railings of the grand staircase that are detailed to look like vintage soda fountains. Old soda testing labs have even become unique event spaces.
“People are more mindful of where they spend their money,” explained Isbell-Williams. “They are more mindful of their precious time outside of the home. We have 139 rooms, but as you walked today, 139 different experiences.”
Isbell-Williams and her team will be tapping into the knowledge built by Geronimo’s other location, the Ironworks Hotel, on Indy’s north side. That spot has been open through the pandemic.
“We aren’t learning on the fly,” detailed Isbell-Williams. “We can learn from those people. We know what guests are going to expect now, and we can put those safeguards in place. I feel like this is lucky. It lets us get all the kinks out of the hotel operations before we really start to, fingers crossed, welcome some crowds.”
The Bottleworks District on Massachusetts Avenue will also feature the Living Room cinema and Garage Food Hall. Both are expected to open in by the end of January.