The Herald Bulletin

September 25, 2013

Indy Canterbury Hotel closing for 9-month makeover


The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — One of Indianapolis' most famous hotels will close for a nine-month makeover in early 2014.

The Canterbury Hotel will undergo a major renovation and reopen with a new name and affiliation, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported Tuesday.

Columbus, Ohio-based hotel investment firm RockBridge will invest about $9.5 million in renovating the 12-story, 99-room hotel, said Ted Stimson, RockBridge's vice president. The company bought the Canterbury in June.

The revamped hotel will affiliate with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Stimson said. It will adopt Starwood's luxurious Le Meridien brand and be renamed Le Meridien Indianapolis Canterbury Hotel.

The affiliation will connect the Canterbury with business travelers and vacationing guests who subscribe to Starwood's rewards system, he said.

"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 has drawn its share of celebrities. Boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington in a Canterbury room in 1991. It also was the venue for a six-hour deposition that singer Michael Jackson gave in 2003 as part of a copyright lawsuit.

In recent years, though, the Canterbury has faced more high-end downtown competition with the opening of the $100 million Conrad Indianapolis and the $450 million JW Marriott complex. The Alexander, a 209-room, high-end boutique hotel, opened in January.

"You've had so many hotels open downtown with great quality offerings, and the Canterbury just couldn't compete," Stimson said.