|By Audrey Dutton, The Idaho
StatesmanMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 30, 2012--The longtime owners and operators of the Owyhee Plaza Hotel in Downtown Boise have sold the hotel to the newly created group Owyhee Place LLC, led by Old Boise owner Clay Carley.
John May and his family have owned and operated the hotel for more than 20 years, but they decided it needed updating. The ownership group didn't have the financial resources to make that happen, so they decided "it was probably time to turn it over to someone else," May said.
"We will continue to operate the hotel and the food and beverage; all of that portion of it will continue to run," said John May, general manager and operator of the hotel and its amenities such as the Gamekeeper Lounge. "The [new owners] will concentrate on improving and leasing up the tenant space and the retail space of the property, as well as the renovations [of] the building."
The May family chose Carley as the new owner because he'd shown interest in renovating older buildings, May said. The new owners are likely to do "something very neat with this asset, rather than someone coming in and ... building something new," he said.
May said patrons of the hotel probably won't notice any difference during the ownership transition. The same employees will be there, he said.
"The Owyhee Plaza is a cultural icon in this community," Carley said in a news release. "We'll respect and build upon its heritage, while making significant investments to revitalize the properties. ... We believe its unique location has the unrealized potential to add vitality to the Downtown core by really activating its western edge."
Carley said the plans will be announced in early 2013.
"We have ideas about how to make the office space more attractive to a new class of businesses, as well as a number of creative concepts for retail and other uses that will build a real sense of place," he said.
Carley described the hotel as a "bookend" to his Old Boise 6th and Main development.
Audrey Dutton: 377-6448
(c)2012 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho)
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