Boutique hotel Indigo Pass opened this month on the fourth floor of Torchlight Pass at 1131 Central Ave. in Middletown. It has six rooms with a king-size bed in each. Six more rooms are planned to be added by the end of this year. CONTRIBUTED

New hotel space highlights multiple recent moves in downtown Middletown

Indigo Pass occupies the fourth floor of the 38,000-square-foot Torchlight Pass building at 1131 Central Ave. It has six rooms with a king-size bed in each and has already attracted guests from Indianapolis, Seattle and Albuquerque.

All rooms have an additional sitting room with a fold-out full bed and are approximately 225 square feet in size

The project is the work of Kevin Kimener, a co-founder of Torchlight Pass, which once housed JCPenney and TV Middletown.

Indigo Pass is for “anyone who is coming to enjoy all the different things that downtown Middltown has to offer,” and not to just out-of-town residents, said Torchlight Pass co-founder Ami Vitori, Kimener’s wife and a Middletown City Council member.

The project occupies half of the 7,500-square-foot fourth floor. The remaining half will be completed to allow for another six rooms by year’s end, Kimener said.

Indigo Pass joins a roster of tenants meant to attract visitors from outside the city, as well as within the community itself: restaurant Gracie’s, which is owned and operated by Vitori, as well as Haven Yoga and MC Hair Salon.

A 7,000-square-foot space that’s being used as production studio The Studio @ The Pass is planned to be utilized for another use once a month-long project there wraps up this summer.

Because it was used by TV Middletown, that space still has a full lighting grid, two green screens and much of the equipment from that operation. Kimener and Vitori said they are hoping to see it used for a tenant who needs that equipment but is hoping to find anyone who can use it.

Recent economic growth in downtown Middletown includes The Cornerstone Manor, an historic 1800s Italianate Victorian home at 68 S. Main St. that is available for lodging and events, and as a “home-away-from-home” option.

Next door at 64 S. Main St., The Swire Inn offers pub food, creative cocktails and live entertainment.

Vitori said that the city’s other new offerings include Belle Bridal Boutique, which opened in April at 1029 Central Ave., and Grandpa Joe’s Candy at 1212 Central Ave.

MORE: This candy store in Middletown has pickle juice soda, homemade donuts and a candy buffet

Also in the works in Middletown is a BMW motorcycle dealership, something Vitori, a Middletown City Council member, said will be “a real feather in our cap because it’s a regional player.”

“They’re coming here to be the southwest Ohio place for BMW motorcycles,” she said. “That should bring people in from up to 70 or 80 miles around.”

Plans also are underway for a new home design and furniture store sometime this summer at 1044 Central Ave., a space owned by Kimener and formerly occupied by Miss Selby’s Soap.

“That’s definitely exciting because the one thing we do need more of is retail,” Vitori said. “When we keep seeing that new activity, it’s just signs that progress is still coming, which is great.”

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