• New Boutique Hotel Being Developed in Fort Wayne

     
    POSTED December 18, 2016
     

A new boutique hotel is under development in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The development is possible because of the partnership of Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder and chief creative officer and director of Vera Bradley, and Portland-based hotel management company Provenance Hotels. Baekggard will contribute her design sense, while Provenance hotel will offer their knowledge of local hotel management.

Baekgaard co-founded Vera Bradley in Fort Wayne where it became a top brand for bags, luggage, fashion accessories, and more. Baekgaard’s is an active part of the Fort Wayne community and has always wanted to open a hotel in the area.

“My intention is to create a place that’s unique to Fort Wayne and reflects the pride we have in our city. A place where our community can come together to do business, celebrate life’s special moments and connect on a regular basis—that’s what Provenance Hotels does best,” says Baekgaard. “They have a solid track record of success, the unique perspective of being owners themselves and an authentic approach to creating independent hotels that are rooted in the community. I’m confident we are going to create something truly special and worthy of Fort Wayne.”

Baekgaard and Provenance Hotels are working alongside Greater Fort Wayne Inc., and the City of Fort Wayne to select a location for the hotel. The goal of the hotel is to help the city raise minimum wage and better the city’s economy.

“We couldn’t be more excited about working with Barbara to make her dream for Fort Wayne a reality,” said Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels. “We always seek out partners with vision and projects in forward-looking cities where we can craft hotels that engage, reflect and embody the local spirit. There is no question that Barbara is a visionary and that Fort Wayne is a city positioning itself for a bright, dynamic future. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to become a part of that.”

The hotel will feature 120 rooms with food, beverage and meeting space options, and is slated to open in 2019.

Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel was, or has been, banned for months. Long anticipated trips and in-person gatherings were canceled and people have adjusted to the new normal: staying at home and meeting over Zoom. However, states have been slowly lifting restrictions, and non-essential travel will soon be happening across the country again. However, some may not be as comfortable with the thought of traveling as they were before the pandemic.  

 

Portland will be home to the first Ritz-Carlton in the Pacific Northwest. Developer BPM Real Estate Group is bringing the brand to the city, with an anticipated opening in early 2023. Plans call for a 35-story tower with 251 hotel rooms and 138 residential units, including eight penthouses.

 

Even during a worldwide pandemic, the hospitality industry is working to make people feel at ease. Though many hotels can only open their doors to health care workers and first responders, they’re reaching out to their local communities with bright messages in clever, socially-distanced ways. Through the heart-shaped lighting of windows at night, hotels are serving as beacons of hope in cities across the country.