Iowa's First Hyatt Planned for Downtown Des Moines

The City Council in Des Moines, Iowa, has approved plans to build a 95-room Hyatt Place Hotel on five floors inside the Liberty Building in downtown Des Moines, according to local news reports.

The hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2011 following a $15.5 million renovation of existing office space, would give downtown Des Moines its first national-hotel-chain property since 1992 and Iowa its first and only Hyatt-brand hotel.

"Hyatt Place is a hip, fresh brand," the hotel's developer, Jake Christensen, told local TV news station KCCI. "There are only 115 in the country and it's the first Hyatt in Iowa."

Although developers had originally hoped to convert the Liberty Building space into condos, the economy changed their plans, which now include a new hotel lobby, lounge, restaurant, swimming pool, workout room and meeting space—all geared toward everyday business travelers, who typically stay in suburban hotels, according to Matt Anderson, the city's economic development administrator.

"We can finally start to capture some of that business," Anderson told local newspaper the Des Moines Register, adding, "We are really excited about the hotel."