ST. LOUIS — The first hotel in the Cortex tech district in Midtown is set to open Monday.
The $28 million, 129-room Aloft Hotel by Marriott is located in the "heart" of Cortex — adjacent to Vicia restaurant, the @4240 building and the MetroLink station. It features meeting rooms, indoor heated pool, and the W XYZbar that will be open to the public. The on-site fitness center will remain closed until June 15 per city of St. Louis guidelines due to COVID-19.
Aloft will implement additional procedures to protect guests and employees, including additional cleaning, shields at the front desk and an employee who will monitor for social distancing in common areas, said David Robert, CEO of Midas Hospitality, which developed and will manage Aloft Hotel. His affiliated company, Midas Construction, built the hotel.
"We look at this as a symbolic reopening of the Cortex district," Robert said. "We think it is a nice ringing of a bell to get back to normal."
The pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard, causing hotels to see near-record occupancy lows. In the first week of April, revenue per available room (RevPAR), a standard benchmark for hotels, plummeted 85.2% compared to the same period last year. By the end of the month, the decline was just 76.7%. Occupancy was 24.4% by the last week of April, an improvement from the first week when occupancy fell to 18.7%, according to data from STR, a global hotel research firm.
Robert said Midas Hospitality is seeing occupancy at its 40 hotels across the Midwest and South pick up and is in the 40% range, "a far cry from when (COVID-19) hit."
"COVID-19 hasn't changed our belief in the brand or location," added Marc Conner, Midas Hospitality's chief experience officer.
Midas is also building the nearby $25 million Element Hotel on Forest Park Parkway that's expected to wrap up in the third or fourth quarter of this year. Its project in Clayton, a $47 million, 168-room Residence Inn by Marriott, is likely to break ground later this year, Robert said.
Aloft Hotel details
- Developer: Midas Hospitality
- Cost: $28 million
- Address: 4245 Duncan Ave.
- General contractor: Midas Construction
- Architect: Gray Design Group
- Management: Midas Hospitality
- Aloft general manager: Katie O’Connor
- Sales lead: Robyn Niedringhaus
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