|El Paso Times, TexasMcClatchy-Tribune
Jul. 10, 2009--Reopening a shuttered Downtown hotel comes at a good time. And it's also a backhand to the grinch that is the country's teetering economy.
Douglas Da Silva said he'll open his renovated hotel, now called the Artisan, early in August.
The announcement comes on the same week that tens of thousands of women bowlers switch their focus to 2010 and El Paso for the March 27-July 10 annual United States Bowling Congress Women's Championship tournament at the convention center Downtown.
Bowling will be on weekends, and this year's tournament just ended in Reno, Nev. Already, some 4,000 women's teams are signed up for El Paso, tournament organizers said.
The event is expected to draw 40,000 women bowlers and an additional 10,000 visitors. Based on tournament history, between $50 million and $60 million is expected to be pumped into the El Paso economy.
The Artisan, and the just-opened Doubletree Inn Hotel Downtown show El Paso is meeting its commitment to be in fine fettle for this city's biggest event ever. It should be a big money-maker for all area hotels and restaurants, especially Downtown where revitalization continues.
Already long-standing hotels are the Camino Real across from the convention center and the Holiday Inn Express near Da Silva's Artisan on Kansas Street. Both are within easy walking distance of the convention center.
Those four hotels combine for 776 rooms Downtown.
The Artisan, once a Holiday Inn, has been closed since 1996. It was purchased by
Da Silva for $1.6 million 3 years ago. Several expected opening dates never came to be, with Da Silva citing unspecified construction problems.
This week, he said his 60-seat bar and restaurant will open July 24 and 75 of the hotel's rooms will open in early August.
Downtown revitalization is a huge endeavor in El Paso, led by the multi-million-dollar renovations of the Mills and Centre buildings.
The opening of another Downtown hotel is another forward step in El Paso's Downtown revitalization process.
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