The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into the new Moxy Hotel, which is slated to open in downtown Springfield in the summer of 2020, is the lack of a traditional check-in. Need to get your room key? See the bartender. “This project will speak to future generations,” says Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Hospitality. “This is more entertainment-focused.” Thatʼs an understatement.
Moxy—one of Marriott’s new boutique hotel brands—is a splashy, party-themed economy hotel geared toward young travelers and adventurers looking to have, as O’Reilly calls it, “an entertaining experience.” The hotel’s website is a mix of black and hot pink with images scrolling by showing hotel guests reveling in the nightlife. The tagline here is “Play On.” Wi-Fi is free. The coffee is fresh, and craft cocktails are waiting. The boutique concept is a relatively new one for Marriott. Moxy Hotels debuted in 2014 with the first location opening in Milan. Since then, Moxy Hotels have popped up in major cities including New York City, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Seattle and Denver. When O’Reilly pitched the idea to open Moxy’s third Midwest location in Springfield, he had some convincing to do. “We had a lot of conversation,” he says. “This is pretty different from their normal strategy where they focus on big urban markets.” To prove to the Marriott team that the Queen City was ideal for something edgy like Moxy Hotels, O’Reilly invited them to tour the historic building he planned to renovate. It worked. “When they visited downtown and saw the building and the historical significance, they became big fans of the project,” he says. Eventually, Marriott issued the Moxy franchise for the project.