The Indianapolis Business Journal is reporting that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is considering using some of the loans from the state of Indiana that will give the track $100 million for upgrades in order to build a 125-room hotel outside of turn 2 of the 2.5-mile oval. The hotel, if built, would serve as an expansion of the existing suites in turn 2. Those suites will be substantially renovated of next year’s Indianapolis 500.
IMS President Doug Boles appears to be quite enthusiastic about the potential project. According to a request for [building] proposals put out by Browning Investments, Inc. on behalf of IMS, the track would like to start construction as soon as possible. However, when reached by the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Property Lines blog, Boles was mum.
“We’re in exploratory mode,” Boles told Property Lines’ Scott Olsen. “We’ll sort that out in the next coming weeks, or months. We left the RFP broad enough so that if people wanted to focus on more than [a hotel], we’re open to having those conversations.”
Regardless of what is ultimately built on the site, the request for proposals (which were due last week) mandated at least 10,000 square feet of meeting space in the building. Other possibilities include permanent apartments, a new clubhouse for the Brickyard Crossing golf course, or a pro shop in the building in addition to the hotel rooms.
The loans referenced above were agreed to by the Indiana State Legislature in 2013, the first time that the track has accepted public money for upgrades. The hotel would be in addition to the renovations to the actual track surface, which included the already completed modifications to the infield road course and the return of usable apron in the turns of the oval for the first time since 1992.