Developers and the Covington Business Council led a tour Wednesday of North by Hotel Covington, an expansion from the original hotel on Madison Avenue set to open in October.
The renovations encompass the building next to Hotel Covington, which was historically the Covington YMCA.
The original hotel is located at the spot of the former Coppin’s department store and former Covington City Hall on the corner of Madison Avenue and E. 7th Street. Local real estate investment company the Salyers Group is behind the original Hotel Covington and the North expansion.
Covington Business Council Executive Director Pat Frew led the tour with Salyers Group President and CEO Guy van Rooyen.
“We’re back,” van Rooyen said of Hotel Covington’s bookings. “We’re 18 percent above our pre-pandemic levels. Travel is back and we just feel like it’s the perfect time to be reinitiating this property and bring it back to its former glory. It’s a former YMCA that has some really cool touches.”
North by Hotel Covington is part of a $26 million phase-two development plan, which extends the business’s footprint by a city block. The addition will feature 53 luxury suites, 10,000 square feet of office space, a new bar, and a ballroom that seats up to 500 people.
Inside the development, the tour revealed guest room layouts, VIP penthouse layouts and premium views of Madison Avenue and the Covington skyline. Rooms feature amenities such as kitchenettes and tall ceilings.
The former YMCA swimming pool is being treated and covered with glass so visitors can connect with the building’s former life.
“While we were moving this huge structural wall, we actually found the pool
from the original YMCA,” van Rooyen said. “We’re going to restore the tile and we’re putting a glass cap over the top that you can walk just to show guests what this used to be.”
Other unique aspects to the building’s design, such as the turret at the corner of E. Pike Street and Madison Avenue, were on full display.
“This turret was torn down in the 60s by a tornado so we restored it,” van Rooyen said. “We felt that this is a pretty significant corner in Covington with such great real estate.”
John Coppin, the department store’s founder, won a bet on a long-shot horse named Knowledge to get the funds to start his retail store, according to legend. The North by Hotel Covington may honor the winning horse by naming the new lobby bar the ‘Knowledge Bar and Social Room.’ No final decision has been made on that.
The Salyers Group opened Hotel Covington in the summer of 2016. In 2022, Hotel Covington was named the best lodging facility in Greater Cincinnati and the No. 1 hotel in the state of Kentucky by U.S. News & World Report.