View Full Version : Hotels being renovated



Patrick
02-17-2005, 11:42 PM
Here's just an update on some of the hotels being renovated around town.

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"Three metro hotels undergo millions in renovations

by Brian Brus

The Journal Record
2/17/2005



New ownership or branding at three Oklahoma City hotels has prompted millions of dollars in renovations.
Embassy Suites on S. Meridian Avenue near Will Rogers Airport has just finished a $4.5 million project to upgrade furnishings in all 236 guest suites as well as add an exercise facility, 2,000 square feet of meeting space and high-speed wireless Internet service throughout the hotel, spokeswoman Debi Neumann said. The hotel is topping off the project now with new carpet in its meeting space. A new restaurant, the Landing Bar and Grill, is now open as well.

"It's a huge difference, the biggest renovation the hotel has had since it opened 20 years ago," Neumann said.

Westmont Hospitality Group in Houston bought the hotel in 2003, which was the primary reason for renovations now.

"The new company wanted to put a lot of money into the hotel that they purchased," Neumann said

At Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2945 Northwest Expressway, General Manager Kevin Goebel said a similar change is under way because Driftwood Hospitality Management in Florida took over the hotel from the Hilton line in October.

"Now's the time to do it - when you're new, right after you take over the property," Goebel said. "We're just getting ready now. The major stuff will start in April."

The $2.5 million project will take four to six months to finish this year, he said, at the end of which the hotel's 215 rooms will be upgraded for the company's new Sleep Advantage amenities program, involving lavender scent spray, improved bedding, earplugs and night-lights.

The hotel has already added high-speed wireless Internet access free to guests. The front lobby desk will be moved to help traffic flow and the pool area will be redone.

And the Westin Oklahoma City in downtown became a Sheraton hotel at the end of 2004, leading to renovations there as well, General Manager Dale Gannon said. The Westin and Sheraton brands are both members of the Starwood family of hotels.

The Sheraton is about halfway through its $9.5 million project, with half the guest rooms finished. The second phase will complete another 112 rooms and the hotel's meeting spaces.

"We're actually gutting the bathrooms, taking tile up and putting new bathtubs in; taking it down to the bare bones and making it brand new," Gannon said.

The changes will help the hotel market its new Sheraton image.

"Everything is going so well with the downtown market and Oklahoma City in general, it's just a good time for expansion," Gannon said.

None of the company representatives said the upgrades had anything to do with new hotel development in downtown.

"They're competition, of course; every hotel in Oklahoma City is in competition," Neumann said. "But downtown kind of has its own little niche, and people who want to stay downtown aren't the same people who want to stay out by the airport to visit other areas.

"The hotel has always done extremely well, and now it's only going to get better," she said. "There's just so many neat things happening in Oklahoma City now."

mranderson
02-18-2005, 06:37 AM
Renovation is needed, but we also need to build more downtown hotels.

Midtowner
02-18-2005, 07:51 AM
I really think this city needs a Hyatt Regency.

Those things are huge convention magnets.

Patrick
02-19-2005, 01:43 AM
The more brands we can attract downtown, the better our downtown area will be. Unfortunately, only 1 new brand to the market has been added downtown: The Renaissance. A Hyatt Regency would be a nice addition to the market. How about locating a Hyatt Regency directly next the the Harkins Theater, in the open lot? A 20 story Hyatt would be a nice addition to the Bricktown area.

Midtowner
02-19-2005, 07:40 AM
The more brands we can attract downtown, the better our downtown area will be. Unfortunately, only 1 new brand to the market has been added downtown: The Renaissance. A Hyatt Regency would be a nice addition to the market. How about locating a Hyatt Regency directly next the the Harkins Theater, in the open lot? A 20 story Hyatt would be a nice addition to the Bricktown area.

I concur. That is my favorite hotel chain to stay at for conventions.

xrayman
02-19-2005, 06:15 PM
Has anyone heard how the sale of Hammons Hotels to Barcelo Crestline is going to effect the Oklahoma City properties and the new one yet to be built? I hear conflicting things. Anybody with the inside scoop?

Patrick
02-19-2005, 08:31 PM
I didn't think all of the Hammons Hotels were being sold to Crestline. Do you have an article or something backing up your statement on the sale?

windowphobe
02-19-2005, 08:52 PM
Far as I know, it's a complete acquisition of Hammons by Barcelo.

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2004/10/18/daily5.html

zuluwarrior0760
02-19-2005, 09:23 PM
If Hammons owns almost 80 percent of Barcelo,
I wouldn't call it as much of an acquisition, as a
realignment.......The new company will include
the Hammon's name also.....

xrayman
02-19-2005, 09:51 PM
I just called a friend who's watching this closely to ask about this. "Oh, haven't you heard? It fell through with the company from Spain. Hammons is now looking at a couple of other better offers. He's in his mid-eighties and wanting to unload. He'll find a better deal" I had heard nothing about the fall out with Barcelo. I looked on Google and found this:
http://www.globest.com/news/212_212/global/130901-1.html
Sorry. That link has the teaser and nothing else until you register. Thanks to Google cache, here's the full story:
http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:Vr0KF5mZw0cJ:www.globest.com/news/212_212/global/130901-1.html+hammons+barcelo&hl=en&lr=&strip=1
I had no idea Mr. Hammons was that age. Is that right?

windowphobe
02-20-2005, 08:06 PM
Well, that settles that, although it does say that Hammons is continuing to look for a merger partner. (Thanks, xrayman.) And how this will affect Hammons' plans in the city is still, I suspect, unclear.

Sooner&RiceGrad
02-21-2005, 12:43 AM
I wonder how many threads exactly like this exist, lol... Anyway, I'm just curious, but isn't a Sheraton a step in the wrong direction from a Westin?

windowphobe
02-21-2005, 09:36 PM
I asked four people who didn't live here: two said Sheraton was higher up on the totem pole, and two said it was lower. So no help from that bunch. :)

Sooner&RiceGrad
02-21-2005, 11:26 PM
Well... doesn't Tulsa have a Sheraton off in Broen Arrow? Heck, that is no good!

swake
02-22-2005, 08:54 AM
Westin is a higher end brand than Sheraton, but they are the same company.

HOT ROD
02-22-2005, 06:21 PM
Sheraton is more mainstream (with 3 and 4 star properties). Westin is more business oriented, with 4 star properties. Both run similar cost schedules but Sheraton gears itself more as a family oriented full service hotel. Sheraton is also the largest brand of the Starwood Hotel group, which includes W hotels, Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, and 4 Points by Sheraton. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/

The fact that we lost the Westin may reflect Oklahoma City's becoming more of a tourist spot as Westin was positioned for business (although rather poorly in OKC). I think Sheraton is a better fit but hopefully OKC will get a new Westin downtown (for business).

A W hotel would be a good fit as well, W is geared for power executives and are 4 star with higher a cost position than Westin. It has more fixtures and perks for the "savvy business traveler" and is thus more expensive than Westin's more mainstream full service business. I think it goes something like this, Luxury Collection then St. Regis (boutique luxury), then W, then Westin, then Sheraton, then 4 Points.

It does not mean Sheraton is worse than Westin or W, it is just the market position and the fact that Sheraton brand is the most recognized. Did any of you even know about W hotels?

I did not until Seattle got one downtown a few years ago. Pretty nice.

renffahcs
02-24-2005, 06:11 PM
I am a little out of the loop not actually living in OKC but any updates on the Skirvin????

Patrick
02-25-2005, 01:19 AM
I am a little out of the loop not actually living in OKC but any updates on the Skirvin????


Asbestos removal continues. The deal should close by May. Construction/Renovation should start this fall. THe original plan was to have it re-opened by early 2006, but I think that will be pushed back some.

Here's a link to themost recent update:

http://www.okctalk.com/showpost.php?p=10884&postcount=35

xrayman
02-25-2005, 02:13 AM
Whenever this is mentioned it's hard not to be excited. To see that grand old hotel restored to greatness will be a great day for Oklahoma City.

Patrick
02-25-2005, 02:24 AM
Whenever this is mentioned it's hard not to be excited. To see that grand old hotel restored to greatness will be a great day for Oklahoma City.

You can say that again! I can't wait! Count me in for a reservation when it opens!

Midtowner
02-25-2005, 08:52 AM
Whenever this is mentioned it's hard not to be excited. To see that grand old hotel restored to greatness will be a great day for Oklahoma City.

It will either be very exciting, or it will be a huge letdown. I'm expecting it to be something like Dallas' Adolphus.