Holiday Inn Express® to Revive Historic Central West End Hotel

July 17, 2014

See below for an announcement from the the Holiday Inn Express:

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ST. LOUIS (June 19, 2014) – The original Bel Air Motel – St. Louis’ first motel – was built in 1957 as a sleek, urban motel for the traveling businessperson and wealthy road trippers. The property, located at 4630 Lindell Blvd., will close temporarily on June 19 to receive more than $3 million in upgrades and rebranding as it transforms into a Holiday Inn Express® accented with unique twists that pay homage to its historic roots. It currently operates as a Comfort Inn.

Opening in early September, the Holiday Inn Express® Central West End will feature a number of amenities customized to highlight the vibrancy of the Central West End and ensure that the frequent traveler has a productive and rewarding stay including:

  • Jogging station featuring cold towels and water
  • Pet-friendly accommodations, so guests can vacation with the entire family
  • Private courtyard featuring oversized garden chess game; a nod to its proximity to the World Chess Hall of Fame and St. Louis Chess Scholastic Center
  • Vintage snack shop featuring items offering “A taste of the 50s”
  • Bicycle rentals for guests to explore Forest Park, the Central West End and neighboring communities

“The Bel Air Motel used to offer guests fun perks like free desserts and trips to the zoo,” said Abby Shanahan, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express® Central West End. “In the spirit of the Bel Air, we also want to offer a fun and unique experience to help our guests get the most out of Forest Park and the Central West End, whether on a business trip or a weekend getaway.”

The multi-million dollar renovation includes 123 new guest rooms, four suites, the amenities listed above and a redesigned lobby, fitness center and courtyard. As with all Holiday Inn Express®locations, guests will also enjoy free wireless, high-speed Internet access, the Holiday Inn Express Star Breakfast, a state-of-the-art business center and a free newspaper on weekdays.

Holiday Inn Express® is one of the fastest growing chains in the U.S. The hotel helps guests “Stay Smart” by providing lodging for those who appreciate value without compromising style or comfort. It will be uniquely positioned as the only nationally-branded hotel in the affluent Central West End. It will also be one of the few hotels in the area that offers a rewards program with points that can be redeemed at over 4,000 IHG hotels worldwide.

The hotel is owned by an affiliate of Garrison Investment Group and operated by Associated Hotels, LLC. The companies anticipate that the strong reputation of Holiday Inn Express®, coupled with the proximity to Forest Park, nightlife, business districts, medical centers and universities will attract a wide range of guests. According to WalkScore.com - which rates the walkability of neighborhoods across the country – the hotel’s location earned a score of 92 out of 100 and is labeled a “Walker’s Paradise.” The average “walk score” in St. Louis is 60.

Upon launch, Holiday Inn Express® Central West End anticipates hiring up to 25 staff. Comfort Inn employees will be encouraged to apply for openings at the new hotel.

Additional information on the opening of the new Holiday Inn Express® in Central West End will be available this summer.

About Holiday Inn Express® Hotels

Holiday Inn Express® hotels are a part of the IHG brand family and are the ideal choice for the smart traveler, offering them a great night’s rest while helping them be productive on the go. Fresh, clean, modern and uncomplicated, Holiday Inn Express hotels offer competitive rates for both business and leisure travelers. Guests Stay Smart® at Holiday Inn Express hotels where they enjoy a free hot Express Start® Breakfast Bar. Launched in 1991, the Holiday Inn Express® brand is one of the largest and fastest growing brands in the hotel industry, opening hotels at a rate of two per week on average. Currently there are over 2,260 Holiday Inn Express hotels globally.

4630 Lindell Blvd. Listing on the National Register of Historic Places (excerpt)

The Bel Air Motel at 4630 Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis, MO, is a significant representative of the changes occurring in commercial design in mid-twentieth century St. Louis. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under, Criterion A: Commerce. When its building permits were issued in late 1957, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch heralded it as the first hotel to be constructed in the city in twenty-seven years and as the city’s first “resort-styled motor hotel.” Its construction is also representative of the city’s mid-century commercial growth and revitalization along Lindell Blvd., a major artery connecting the city’s downtown and the Central West End with the burgeoning and affluent suburb of Clayton.

The Bel Air Motel is associated with St. Louis hotelier and philanthropist, Norman K. Probstein as the first of his numerous hotel ventures and as the best representation of his successful career in hotel development. The Bel Air Motel is also eligible under Criterion C: Architecture as an excellent example of early motor hotel design and for its mid-century Modem design, a stylistic trend that was becoming popular and is especially prevalent along this stretch of Lindell. Built in three stages between 1957 and 1961, which is identified as its period of significance, the completed edifice continues to be used today and its tenure as the Bel Air extended to the early 1980s.