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ATHENS, GA-Hotel Indigo, the boutique flag of InterContinental Hotels Group, has opened a five-story, 130-room location at 500 College Ave., near the University of Georgia campus. The hotel is the first private development in Athens to achieve LEED gold certification by the US Green Building Council, as well as the first for IHG.

The hotel will highlight Athens’ art and entertainment history, including an on-site gallery by Mercury Art Works and a music venue that will host performances by nationally recognized singers and songwriters. A restaurant called Phi Bar will serve locally inspired gourmet menu items.

“By combining regionally inspired design and sustainability with local art and music, Hotel Indigo Athens complements the unique character and charm of downtown and is sure to be a great addition to the community,” says Gina LaBarre, vice president of brand delivery with Hotel Indigo. The building’s design is reminiscent of the covered bridges commonly found in northeast Georgia.

Atlanta-based Rialto Property Partners LLC developed the hotel under a licensing agreement with IHG. Rick Fine, Rialto CEO, says the upscale hotel “fuses the rich local art and music scene with the best in environmental responsibility.”

Rialto worked with Savannah-based consulting firm Melaver Inc. on its LEED certification, using recycled and locally made materials in building the hotel. Other green elements include a regenerative elevator, low-flow plumbing fixtures and an outdoor water cistern that collects air-conditioning condensation for landscaping irrigation.

Hotel Indigo currently has 31 properties worldwide and more than 60 under development. The chain plans to double its US footprint by the end of this year with new hotels in New York City, San Antonio and Miami Beach.

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