BOISE - With less than four months to go until its opening, Inn at 500 Capitol celebrated its topping-out ceremony Monday.
The boutique-style hotel is one of three lodging facilities under construction in Downtown Boise - and the first scheduled to open.
Owner Brian Obie is opening his second hotel, after the similar Inn at 5th in Eugene, where Obie was once mayor.
He thinks Boise presents an opening for growth.
"It seems like a great opportunity," he said. "(It's) five blocks from the Capitol, three or four blocks from Boise State University."
He thinks the hotel will reflect well on Boise.
"It's a recognition of Boise's growth and where it's at in the world. This is an indeed independent hotel. People will love this. People from Boise will relate to it and love it."
Inn at 500 will enter a market ripe for hotel expansion - but will face increasing competition. In addition to the existing boutique Hotel 43, upscale Grove Hotel and business hotel Hampton Inn within just three blocks - Residence Inn by Marriott is building a ten-story hotel across the street, and Hyatt Place is under construction on Bannock St.
Add to the pileup proposals for two more hotels along Front St., and Downtown Boise is experincing an unprecedented surge in places to rest your head.
Inn at 500 is hoping an upscale approach will help it stand out.
Each room will include features like a fireplace and double sink. A special "butler's closet" will allow in-room dining and other hotel services to be accomplished without guests having to interact directly with staff.
Fifty-seven of the rooms will be themed to Boise or Idaho, featuring local art and more.
The hotel and attached Richard's restaurant face a tight self-imposed opening deadline - announced for December 31st of this year.