Hampton Inn to become "Bud Light Hotel" during 2012 Super Bowl
Indianapolis - A new hotel is coming to Indianapolis, at least for a brief stay. The Bud Light Hotel checks into Indianapolis in time for the 2012 Super Bowl, staying just a day or two post-game.
It's taking over the 180-room Hampton Inn Downtown. Hotel General Manager Jesse Ghumm said they're very closing to signing off on the deal.
"It means for us the opportunity to be part of the Super Bowl and not to have the [typical] hotel environment. We're excited," Ghumm said.
Just like it did in Dallas and Miami, the beer company will rebrand the Hampton as the Bud Light Hotel. Ghumm said that means "the outside signs, the canopies, the soaps and shampoo bottles, everything will say Budweiser. They'll own the theme."
Ghumm said the star-studded parties will likely take place off-property in tents set up in nearby parking lots, as the hotel doesn't have large enough event space.
Either way, Erick Johnson, a principle with Borshoff Communications, calls the rebranding great advertising.
"Any time you can take a singular position and own that position it's very valuable," said Johnson.
Leasing the hotel for one week is also a way to avoid NFL approval for certain activities in the clean zone (the area within one-square mile of Lucas Oil Stadium.)
It's a strategy that worked during the Dallas game, when Coors light was the official game sponsor, but this year it's really not an issue with Bud Light as the official sponsor.
Adam Collins, with the City's Department of Code Enforcement, said while the rebranding of the hotel is a first for the city, he sees no zoning issues, calling the lease "a completely legitimate enterprise."
At nearby Coaches Tavern, where there are Bud and Bud Light signs everywhere, bartender Crystal Whitaker said the beer is a favorite game-day beer. She thinks the Bud Light hotel will be a big draw.
"I think it will be very popular, everyone likes new things and it's exciting, especially during the Super Bowl everyone when everyone will be ramped up and ready to party," said Whitaker.
Ghumm said it will take some effort preparing for the rebranding. Everything that says Hampton Inn on it, from the signs to the pens to the welcome mats will need to be replaced with items bearing the Bud Light logo. Still, he thinks it will be worth it in the end.
"We're excited, it will be a challenge, but I think we're up to it because it's a fresh idea," said Ghumm.
He said the hotel was close to signing off on the final agreement. If all goes as planned, the Hampton Inn will become the Bud Light Hotel from Feb. 1 to Feb. 7 of 2012.