HAMILTON, Ohio — You could be spending a night in jail -- on your own free will.
The next big thing for Hamilton’s downtown just might be tiny, inexpensive hotel rooms for artists, students and other budget-conscious visitors to the city, a group of high school students recently suggested to city council.
Each “hotel pod” would not be much larger than a jail cell, explained three students from Butler Tech School of the Arts. In fact, the perfect spot for the hotel would be in Hamilton’s former city jail, on the upper level of the former municipal building at 20 High St., still owned by the city, the Journal-News reports.
Many people would like to be able to joke and tell their friends, “I slept in a jail for two days,” student Maddie Warndorf said. “So, it’s got that aspect to it as well.”
Council members and the audience watching the presentation chuckled at the novelty of making that boast.
Even families might be interested in the unique hotel opportunity, perhaps with slightly roomier pods for them, said Warndorf, Aly Mechlem and McCala Kreimer, all seniors in Butler Tech’s visual arts program, who offered a visual presentation to city leaders.
Such ultra-inexpensive hotel pods are becoming popular around the world, especially in China, they said, adding the pods would be ideal for artists or others visiting some of the city’s many art attractions.
The jail rooms would not only create another hotel option for the city, Mechlem said, but also: “It’s going to help spread the word about Hamilton, because it’s definitely kind of a new idea, and if a city does something that’s a completely new idea, it spreads the word about it.”
With the building’s lower level already being renovated into Municipal Brew Works micro-brewery, expected to open in mid-April, the jail hotel would put the rest of the building to good use, the students said.