Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Few Winds of Change Blow among Downtown Hotels

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Few Winds of Change Blow among Downtown Hotels

Article excerpt

It's been several months since the downtown hotel situation was reviewed, but since the Commonwealth Park Hotel opened its doors in May, nothing new has happened.

Since the closing of the Skirvin Plaza in October 1988 until May, the 400-room Sheraton Century Center Hotel and Towers stood alone as the only major downtown hotel.

Sheraton representative Steve Solomon, attorney for Oklahoma City Century Center Associates, which owns the hotel, said in May that without a move by the city to change the downtown convention market, Century Center Associates could face a $2.1 million deficit over the next two years.

Century Center Associates is a New York-based partnership, led by Eugene Weiss.

The Commonwealth Park Hotel, 520 W. Main St., opened in May with 60 rooms open on the second, third and sixth floors under the contention that hotel rooms were needed.

The 205-room hotel is opening in stages under the ownership of Par Group Hospitality Inc., a partnership based in Washington, D.C. The hotel is the former Holiday Inn, which closed in March 1986.

When the hotel closed it was in good shape physically, but the mechanical systems needed some work, said Bill Quam, marketing director for the property.

When the 210-room Skirvin closed its doors in October 1988, it was expected to reopen after renovations were complete. Those doors remain shut today.

The Skirvin was purchased in August 1990 for $2.2 million in a sheriff's sale by Louisiana businessman Louis Roussel Jr. Only some roof work and other necessary cleanup has been done.

The hotel is for sale, and Connie Gore, Oklahoma City attorney representing Roussel's Empire Land Co., said she has shown it to "quite a few people." There is no sale pending, but there are a lot of people evaluating the property. Nothing has been done, she said.

The Skirvin, built in 1911, was for years rated among the finest hotels in the Southwest.

A Market Feasibility Study, being put together by Coopers & Lybrand, is under way and was due out Nov. 1 but has been delayed several weeks, the Second Century Inc. board of directors said Thursday. Second Century is Oklahoma City's policy agency for downtown redevelopment.

However, some ideas in the study include ways to improve and expand the downtown hotel market and also to improve the Myriad Convention Center.

The Myriad has had no structural improvements since it was built in 1972.

William O. Johnstone, chairman of Second Century Inc., said the convention center needs to be the first order of business to bring the conventions to Oklahoma City. Until then, there will be no need for downtown hotels.

Jackie Carey, a member of the Second Century board, said people have asked her if some of the money that was a part of the United Airlines project could be channeled into the downtown hotel and convention center market. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.