A new boutique hotel is slated for Chattanooga's Southside that will aim for the millennial market, offering a so-called speakeasy for food and drink and even bunk beds in some rooms.
"It's catering to a new generation of folks," said Ross Edwards, vice president of development and construction for Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group.
ROOM RAMP UP
Eleven hotels are under development or recently completed in downtown Chattanooga.
Called the Kinley Hotel, the four-level, 64-room property will go up on what's now a parking lot across Market Street from the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Work is to begin on the multimillion-dollar project in spring 2019 with an opening about a year later, Edwards said. Valet parking will be offered as the hotel contracts with lots nearby.
Edwards said the hotel will be "a vibrant lodging opportunity. We want it to be central to the community and neighborhood."
Amy Donahue, director of marketing and communications for the nonprofit downtown redevelopment group River City Co., said new hotels in the Southside have lagged other parts of the city.
"If you think about it, of all the hotels downtown, the majority are concentrated on the riverfront or the city center," she said.
The Moxy hotel by Chattanooga-based 3H Group opened last month in the Southside. That $19 million, 108-room hotel at Market and King streets also is targeting millennials.
Donahue said hotels on the Southside appear geared toward travelers who aren't necessarily looking for family activities.
"They want to stay where there's local flair," she said. "That's a great option."
The Chattanooga Choo Choo, which is undergoing a vast redevelopment, has cut the number of its hotel rooms from 363 to 130 over the past two decades, The Choo Choo has added apartments and more restaurants and entertaiment venues as it evolved into a a place where people can live, work, shop and play.
Donahue said the Southside has more Airbnb rentals than any other part of downtown south of the Tennessee River. Those users are viewed as often younger guests who want to experience the vibe in that part of downtown.
Edwards said research shows that "the younger generation is less about material types of things and more about the experience and travel."
He said room rates for the Kinley aren't set yet, but plans are to make them "reachable" for younger patrons.
Edwards said the Kinley's speakeasy will service not just hotel guests but the general public as well. Also, the hotel will offer a coffee bar, he said.
The Kinley is a new brand created by Vision Hospitality. The brand's first hotel is under construction in Cincinnati and the Chattanooga location will be Vision's second.
"We're in the process of rolling out a handful," Edwards said. He said Kinley guests can use Marriott's reservations system and rewards points.
Vision's boutique hotel brands, including the recently opened Edwin near the riverfront, are part of a new division called Humanist, Edwards said.
Contact Mike Pare at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.