Expansion discussed as Carmel’s Hotel Carmichael occupancy, revenues exceed projections


Hotel Carmichael opened in mid-2020 as the result of a partnership between developer Pedcor Companies and the City of Carmel, but despite taxpayer investment in the $58 million project its performance metrics were considered proprietary information and not shared with the public.

That changed at the April 15 Carmel City Council meeting when Carmel Redevelopment Commission Director Henry Mestetsky joined Pedcor executives to present an update on the hotel’s occupancy rate, financial condition and future plans.

“Mayor (Sue) Finkam’s administration is all about transparency, and how the hotel has been doing has been a question in the voters’ minds, even though technically that data is not public,” Mestetsky said. “So, the best course of action is to have that open and transparent conversation, with the understanding that this isn’t normal, and this does cause some detriment to the hotel operation, because no other hotel is walking around blasting all their numbers to the public. But between transparency and this other value, transparency is going to trump the day.”

According to data presented by Laurie Siler, Pedcor senior vice president, despite opening during a global pandemic the hotel outpaced the 2017 proforma projections of a stabilized occupancy rate of 77 percent within three years. The hotel had a nearly 81 percent occupancy rate in 2023 and opened 2024 near the same amount.

Hotel Carmichael revenue was 7.1 percent above the 2017 proforma projections within 18 months of opening, and in 2023 it was 48.7 percent above original projects at $16.4 million for the year. The hotel’s debt service payments and cash flow are also in good shape, Siler said, despite rising interest rates.

Pedcor President and CEO Bruce Cordingley said the hotel has achieved its goal of providing accommodations in Carmel for executives and professionals visiting the area on business who previously traveled to Indianapolis for a similar stay.

“We think we have accomplished that, and we think we’ve also caused the opposite to occur, which is people whose business and activities during the day are in Indianapolis are now coming to Hotel Carmichael, because that is the best location for them,” Cordingley said.

Hotel Carmichael has been so successful, Cordingley said, that it is looking to convert 33 luxury apartment suites planned in the adjacent Wren building currently under construction to be part of the hotel instead. He said Pedcor will not request additional public funds to expand the hotel but would welcome an expanded partnership if the city wants to be involved.

“We believe the incentive you have helped us create with the existing hotel Carmichael will enable us to help you and us expand it, making the existing hotel more efficient, having 155 rooms,” Cordingley said. “There are events, conventions and business meetings that the hotel is now turning down that we do not have capacity for. This will add to that capacity and create more business opportunities here in Carmel.”

When asked by City Councilor Matt Snyder if Pedcor would be willing to buy out the taxpayers’ portion of the project, Cordingley said he anticipates it will eventually happen.

“I’m not sure this is the right time. But at the right time, sure, we’d be very interested,” he said.

The city is set to receive 75 percent of the hotel cash flow for approximately a decade as part of a plan to repay more than $12 million the CRC covered when construction costs were significantly higher than the initial estimate. After the CRC has been repaid, it will become a 50/50 split.

Learn more about the hotel at HotelCarmichael.com. See the full presentation to the city council about Hotel Carmichael at youtube.com/watch?v=kWpa25KUqos.