|By Susan Hylton, Tulsa World,
Okla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 17, 2012--GLENPOOL -- Construction of a four-story hotel that would accommodate visitors to the Glenpool Conference Center and other guests is expected to start in January.
The Glenpool City Council voted 5-0 on Monday for an incentives agreement with Robert Patel, CEO and president of Leisure Hospitality Management Inc., for an 89-room Holiday Inn Express just south of the conference center.
City Manager Ed Tinker said officials hope to attract conferences they are missing due to a lack of on-site hotel rooms.
"We're very excited about it," Tinker said. "Even though we're very successful in our conference center, we're missing out to larger venues."
Two hotels were originally planned around the same time as the March 2011 opening of the Glenpool Municipal Complex and Conference Center.
Patel said the sluggish economy delayed the hotel plan.
"Banks were not lending on hospitality. It was just a very tough market to get a deal done," he said, noting that he secured funding through a local bank.
Tinker said the hotel project is a good sign that the economy has turned a corner.
As part of the incentives agreement with the city, Patel will be reimbursed the 5 percent hotel/motel tax for seven years. Tinker said that could generate between $250,000 and $500,000 a year depending on the hotel's occupancy rate.
The city will still collect the sales tax on each room. The hotel/motel tax is normally set aside for economic development.
"I don't know better economic development than to have a hotel to satisfy a conference center," Tinker said.
Patel must start construction by Jan. 15 and begin construction on a second hotel or other retail establishment on the north side of the conference center within two years of opening the first hotel.
"That will be in the works after the hotel opens and we see how it's doing," Patel said. "We'll decide if a second hotel is logical to put there or if we need to put a restaurant or retail there."
Construction is expected to take a year.
Tinker said the city's conference center is booked every weekend through July.
"We have become the wedding capital of Tulsa County, but they need a hotel to stay in -- especially the guests who come from out of town," Tinker said.
Tinker said they will soon be able to target events such as the Oklahoma City Manager Association's three-day conference.
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381 email@example.com
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