Boise & Garden City

Hotelier: Boutique hotel Downtown will be "a whole different thing than what's in Boise now"

Every room will have a fireplace, two sinks and a butler closet where hotel staff leave plates of food for guests to pick up without having to answer the door.

There will be themed art displays in many of the rooms. Balconies will look out over Downtown Boise, Julia Davis Park and a second-floor outdoor event space.

Hotel workers will be charged with knowing guests' names. They'll pick up guests at the airport and take them anywhere they want to go in town.

Even the ice machines will be special. Staff will fill up bags of ice and place them in bins so that the noise of scraping for ice doesn't disturb other guests.

"It's the attention to detail," said Casey Obie Barrett, vice president of Obie Companies. "It's the little things that you wouldn't really think matter, and they all add up."

Barrett is the grandson of Brian Obie, president and CEO of Obie Companies, the company planning to build The Inn at 500 Capitol. He and his grandfather stopped by the Statesman on Thursday to talk about their new project.

In a lot ways, it sounds like The Inn at 500 Capitol will be like Obie's first hotel, Inn at the 5th in Eugene, Ore., where Obie once served as mayor. Obie said that hotel has been a big success and he's excited about bringing something like it to Boise.

He said Boise was at the top of a list of markets analyzed on his behalf for the viability of a high-end, boutique hotel. The criteria that fed into that list include a major government presence, a university, local population, average income in the area and a lack of high-end hotel competition.

" We come to Boise because of a void in our product. We are a high-end, luxury, high-service...hotel that's more like an inn," Obie said. "This is a whole different thing than what's in Boise right now."

Room rates are expected to run between $203 and $215, according to the company’s media kit.

One thing that's raised some eyebrows: parking. Obie plans to build the seven-story, 104-room hotel on top of existing parking lots along the south side of Myrtle Street. He said there won't be any on-site parking for guests. Instead, valets will take their cars and park them off-site.

Obie said his company is working out a deal to lease parking space in Myrtle Street Garage, which stands kitty-corner from the hotel site. Boise's urban renewal agency runs the garage. There would be on-site parking for employees of the hotel and a restaurant Obie plans to build and lease to a restaurateur.

The company submitted plans this week to the city of Boise's planning department. Obie said he hopes to break ground by August and will really push to open the hotel by the end of 2016.

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