After many delays, Evansville’s first Hyatt-branded hotel is finally ready for guests, providing a boost to the Downtown economy and new opportunities for area tourism.
Though construction on the Hyatt Place was expected to be finished last year, the pandemic, along with accompanying labor and supply chain shortages, pushed the opening date back further to June 23, 2021.
“Mayor Winnecke said that when we did the groundbreaking, we had a windy day and indeed, we had some windy days during the construction,” says Hemang Shah, the principal owner with hotel ownership group Kinship Hospitality LLC of Newburgh, Indiana. “It’s a beautiful property and we are very proud of it, and we’re excited for the community to have a chance to experience it.”
Shah, who lives in Newburgh, says he always wanted to build a property in the area, having already owned properties in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, as well as Jasper and Huntingburg, Indiana, through the ownership group.
He says he saw how Downtown was being revitalized through the years with the construction of the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences, Tropicana’s land-based casino, and DoubleTree hotel. He hopes having another hotel will attract more conventions and visitors to the area.
“We have great hotels in the area, but having a hotel in the vicinity of the convention center I think it gives us a really good edge and for promoters to go after certain conventions that otherwise don’t come if you don’t have enough room in the area,” says Shah.
Construction on the 139-room Hyatt Place hotel began in spring 2018. It sits on the previous site of the Scottish Rite Cathedral, with the hotel being built on the cathedral’s former parking lot.
Inside the hotel is a full bar with a 24/7 a la carte food menu and complimentary breakfast. It also houses meeting rooms, an indoor pool, fire pit with ample patio seating, and fitness center with modern equipment along with king studio, two queens, business king, and king suites.
Hyatt Place has Evansville-branded décor, including a wall in the leisure hallway displaying the Old Courthouse and an aluminum “E is for Everyone” fountain out front that was manufactured at B Stevens Services in Cynthiana, Indiana.
“This is a phenomenally beautiful hotel, and it fits in so nicely in this neighborhood,” says Jim Dora Jr., president and CEO of the General Hotels Corporation, which manages the Hyatt Place. “We’re excited to be a part of it and Downtown Evansville.”