|By Tom Droege, Tulsa World, Okla.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 7, 2004 - The 104-room Hilton Garden Inn is scheduled to open next spring.
Business travelers and people visiting south Tulsa hospitals are the target customers of a hotel under construction near 81st Street and U.S. 169, officials say.
"This is our first project in Tulsa, and this location seems to be the up-and-coming place," said Nila Patel, spokeswoman for Premier Hospitality Management Inc., a multibrand hotel company based in Durant.
The company owns and operates 12 hotels in Oklahoma and Texas, having franchise agreements with InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton Hotels Corp., Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Choice Hotels International and Best Western International.
The 104-room Tulsa hotel, a Hilton Garden Inn, is scheduled to open next spring. It sits on about three acres just to the west of the Tulsa Community College south campus.
The location is directly south of the $30 million Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospital, which is set to open next May. Construction on that 20-acre site began in January.
Valley National Bank is providing financing for the hotel project, although land and construction costs were not disclosed.
Stan Frisbie of Stan Frisbie Real Estate LLC said additional land around the hotel site is for sale, and he is marketing it as outparcels for restaurants. Premier bought the land for the hotel about three years ago, Frisbie said.
One mile to the north, he noted, three to four similar-size hotels are doing business along 71st Street, as well as the 300-room Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center, which opened last year at 6808 S. 107th East Ave. Promoters of that hotel say it has the largest hotel meeting space in Tulsa.
Frisbie said the Hilton Garden Inn will offer a "lower price point" option to the Renaissance and feed off the convention traffic generated by the large hotel. The Hilton will have 1,400 square feet of flexible meeting space and a full-service restaurant.
David Snyder, vice president of operations at Premier, said attracting the business traveler is the focus of the Tulsa site, which is why the Hilton brand was picked.
"South Tulsa was selected as the location to develop this new facility because it is the emerging and exciting favored destination of corporate travelers," he said.
Patel said Premier's venture in Tulsa is one of several on the company's expansion list. By next year, Premier hopes to have acquired land for about seven other hotels in Oklahoma and Texas, she said.
After suffering from the post-9/11 travel downturn, the hospitality industry is beginning a recovery, Patel said.
"It's back on an upswing as a whole," she said. "It's a slow comeback."
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