A venerable campus-area motel — yes, motel — has gotten a facelift in keeping with its heritage.
The former Varsity Inn at 1445 Olentangy River Rd., has reopened as the Olentangy Motor Inn, following the six-month renovation that added colorful retro touches consistent with the motel’s 1988 vintage. The motel’s 55 rooms were gutted to allow new flooring, furnishes, paint, lighting and other finishes.
As part of the makeover, a Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea was added to the building, complete with a drive-through.
“We are thrilled to open the Olentangy Motor Inn and Crimson Cup location to provide visitors with comfortable accommodations and delicious coffee near Ohio State,” said David Patel, owner and CEO of Indus Hotels, the Columbus-based hotel operator that owns the property.
The Olentangy Motor Inn is one of two buildings on Olentangy River Road and King Avenue that for years operated as the Varsity Inn. The second building, facing King, is closed as Indus prepares to demolish it and replace it with a Home2 Suites by Hilton next year.
The Olentangy Motor Inn is the second Columbus motel to get a vintage facelift recently. Last year, the South Wind Motel on South High Street received a top-to-bottom overhaul reflecting the motel’s 1959 vintage.
The Olentangy is Indus’ 14th hotel. The lineup includes several hotels also on Olentangy River Road including the Aloft, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites.