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commuting in from the east

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commuting in from the east

I am attending a conference at the Marriott (I think) and I don't want to stay downtown. I'd rather commute in from the east. Is a Monday thru Friday commute from the east difficult? I am used to Boston traffic, which I would rate as pretty bad. I have never been to this area so I have no idea whether I should even attempt to commute in every day. I just thought I'd like to get away from it all after the conference, and also not spend $$$ on a downtown hotel. For me, a 30-45 minute commute would be reasonable. I'm going to look for a nice little hotel...as long as the commute doesn't sound impossible. thanks ahead of time!

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1. Re: commuting in from the east

Not going to address the commute issue other then to say there is (was?) some work on the inner loop that is/was causing some headaches. When exactly is you trip?

Regarding downtown hotels & $$$:

A. I (and orher forum regulars) generally suggest staying downtown most if the time; particularly in your case since that's where your conference will be.

Downtown is very walkable, safe (insert standard big city disclaimer here), has lots of restaurants, bars, shopping, musems, and other things do do/see; which makes it the location of choice for many (most?) Indy visits.

B. You might check out the La Quinta (downtown). It is generally a less expensive, but is also a little outside of the core downtown (but we're talking a few minutes/blocks) and has "free" parking/breakfast.

C. On this note, if you're going to be renting a car (just for the commute), consider what you can save by avoiding it if you stay downtown. Apply the saving to your hotel budget and . . . .

Are you flying & renting or driving?

D. You can sometimes get deals on downtown hotels on Hotwire/Priceline. In many places this can have some "risks" involved (getting a bad hotel or ending up in a bad area), but these aren't an issue for downtown Indy. All of the hotels are at least good (none are dumps), clean & in a safe area (repeat disclaimer). Now obviously some are better than others, but none should be outright avoided unless you're wanting a 4 or 5 star hotel.

There used to be one "downtown" outlier that wasn't really in the walkable downtown (on the IUPUI campus), but it has been converted to student housing and is no longer a hotel/worry that you'll get it via blind site.

Now if your conference is large and/or there is something else going on that is pushing up demand there may not be major bargains, but unless demand is huge, you can usually get something with a discount ~25-30% off a hotels rack (or event) rate. I use these sites most of the time I consider staying in Indy and, except when there is something major going on I see (get) saving in this range and have done as well as ~60% off a hotels rack rate at least once.

If you decide you want to consider a blind booking site, let us know. I've got some general pointers/observations in doing this for Indy and some sites that can help with hints, tips, and reports of results. Don't want to leave them now as I'm on my phone and its a pain.

Hope this helps and will try to leave more info when I'm on a computer,

hlo

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2. Re: commuting in from the east

THanks for your thoughtful reply. It would be in january. I wonder how the weather is. I was thinking about driving from mass. The Prius gets me around cheap, but i need to think about that part some more.

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3. Re: commuting in from the east

A few additional comments:

1. Regarding the weather. The only thing certain is uncertainty (this is the Midwest where the joke is, "if you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes, it'll change"). We can literally go from waiting to run your A/C to turning on the heat in a single day.)

You could have just about everything other than blazing hot & high humidity. There usually isn't too much snow in Indiana (until you get up around lake effect snow off of Lake Michigan), but there can be an occasional winter storm or blizzard dumping significant snow (up to feet).

Similarly it's possible you'll be here on a "balmy" day where it could even get into the 50s or (rarely) the low 60s. All this said the "average" temps in Indy in January are highs in the mid-30s and lows around 20 or so. Of course these are just averages, but until you get pretty close to your trip (and can see reasonably accurate forecasts) that's about all you can go on. On the flip side there is a (slight?) chance you'll see temps in the single digits (for the high) will sub-zero lows.

I will close on this topic by saying that when in January has a little bearing. Most winters the early parts of January will be milder than the later parts.

2. So your aware there are a series of skywalks (and more all the time) which allows you to travel fairly well around downtown with out fully going outside in the elements. It can add distance to your walk, but if it's really bad outside I generally think it's worth it. This can cut many multi-block walks in downtown down to a block or so at the beginning & end of the walk.

3. Since it appears you'll be driving then car rental costs won't be a factor in the cost/benefit analysis of hotel location/selection. There are, however, other factors that appear as a result of you certainly(?) having a car. Mainly parking fees at hotels and/or daily parking costs if you do decide to commute (but also somewhat the "headache" of finding a spot. A few comments on this point:

a) Many of the downtown hotels charge for parking, but you can shave a few bucks off by parking yourself (there are garages either adjacent or a short walk near most of the hotels). Do be aware that depending on your car usage doing a self-park can actually end up costing more. Hotel parking will have in/out privileges, self-parking won't and the single (hotel) daily rate might end up being less than 2 hourly rates depending on the details of when you leave, the garages rate structure, etc.

b) I'm sure the La Quinta has free parking and think that a few others do too. As you might imagine they tend to be further from the core of downtown (but still walkable) and often lower on the "star" scale (which is probably a good thing in your case).

c) Don't forget to consider the daily parking costs if you commute as these could be applied to your hotel budget. Don't have any memory of normal rates, but downtown parking is a fairly frequent topic and if you search the forum you should get some idea and 99% certain there is a link to a website that lists all the downtown garages, surface lots, etc.

d) I wouldn't even consider street parking. Not only will it probably be as (or more) expensive than a garage or surface lot, but also there are enough restrictions and "short" hours (for additional lanes during rush hour) that it just doesn't make sense to me. One tow because you're late getting back to the car and . . . .

That's all for now,

hlo

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Indy Hostel
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4. Re: commuting in from the east

The downtown interstate construction is scheduled to be wrapped up by early November. You should have no issues with that.

Assuming that coming in from the East would involve staying somewhere along I-70, your commute should not be bad at all. This comment is based on staying at either the Post Road or Emerson Avenue exits of I-70. Those would be no more than 10-15 minutes from downtown. If 30-45 minutes doesn't bother you, you can get much nicer hotels and much better surrounding restaurant choices on the north side at the Keystone at The Crossing area. But your commute from there would likely be on surface streets and can easily take the 30-45 minutes.

I come in on 465 from the northeast side down to 70. Traffic backups are rare, certainly nothing compared to Boston. The only likely backup will be from 70 West to 65 North. Depending on where your conference is, you probably can get to the site without going that direction.

As for driving from Massachusetts to Indy, I suspect your preferred route would be across the Mass Pike and New York Thruway to Buffalo, down along 90 to 271 East of Cleveland, 71 to Columbus and 70 to Indy.

In my opinion you would be fortunate to avoid snow on that route or any other you choose in January. The route between Buffalo and Cleveland goes through the heart of the Lake Erie snowbelt, although most years Lake Erie is frozen enough in January to prevent the Lake Effect Snow Machiine from cranking up. I've made many trips between Indy and Northeast Ohio in the winter - you just never know what you are going to get.

Personally I would not chance driving it as with the convention, you don't have the flexibility to wait out a snow or ice storm.

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5. Re: commuting in from the east

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