By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
A principal in the Kansas City, Mo.-based LodgeWell Group that will build a four-story hotel downtown told Enid Regional Development Alliance members he is excited about the project.
Dave Owen, a LodgeWell managing member, was the main speaker at the quarterly ERDA meeting Thursday at Oakwood Country Club. Owen, a former lieutenant governor and state legislator in Kansas, is a former fundraiser for presidential candidate Bob Dole.
“We came in here with a ‘let’s work together’ attitude,” Owen said.
The project meets the needs of the city and is a good business plan as well, he said. Owen mentioned there is strong hotel occupancy in Enid.
“We have a hard time getting a hotel room when we come to work on the hotel,” Owen said.
Designers plan a Hilton Garden Inn at Maine and Independence. Owen said a local bank is eager to work with the developers, as are some local investors.
“We think we can put a package together,” Owen said.
Owen told the group the design enables developers to save the facade of the historic Kress building, and he showed photos of the design of the hotel and of some projects his company built in other locations.
Owen said Enid Renaissance Project construction drew them to Enid. He emphasized that Enid’s investment showed LodgeWell officials the community is interested in developing.
The hotel will be a 131-room facility with parking and retail areas, Owen said. Developers are interested in keeping Visit Enid, formerly known as the Enid Convention and Visitors Bureau, in the building. He also indicated developers may build a second hotel once the first one is up and operating.
The hotel will have a covered entrance into both Enid Event Center and Convention Hall. City commissioners decided they preferred a parking deck along Maine. The deck will have space for 200 cars, with 131 spaces reserved for the hotel.
Developers will be able to build in extra meeting rooms in the old Kress space. There will be 17,000 square feet of retail space, and they have dedicated 17,000 square feet of retail space on the first level of the parking deck.
Cherokee Strip Conference Center will be torn down to make room for the parking deck and retail space.
Retail consultant Rickey Hayes will work to attract major retail facilities and restaurants for the space that will make downtown Enid a destination, Owen said.
The hotel’s main entrance will face Independence.
Owen is a graduate of Ottawa University. His business career includes banking and real estate.
LodgeWell managing member Dave Mashburn has 30 years of experience in the development, design, construction and management of hotel, resort and conference center projects, totaling over $3 billion in development costs. He held senior level positions with organizations such as John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts, Bass Pro Shops, Leisure Hotels and Resorts, Destination Ventures, Walton Construction and HNTB Corp. He also graduated from the University of Central Missouri.
The city signed a master development plan with LodgeWell Feb. 21, specifying LodgeWell would privately develop, own and operate the hotel.
Answering audience questions Thursday, Mashburn said construction should begin in mid- to late-summer on the project, and last 10 to 12 months.
The hotel is estimated to cost $15 million, and the parking garage about $5 to $6 million, with a total price tag of $20 to $21 million, Mashburn said.
Mashburn said Enid’s hotel occupancy rate is around 70-75 percent. Since Enid is a regional medical hub, he said, its hotel demand will be sustainable even after the oil play goes away.
The contract approves a 131-room hotel and a parking facility with ground level retail space. The contract terms approved specify the city will lease the land for the hotel and parking garage to the developer during construction, and once contract terms are met, convey the land to LodgeWell at a cost of $10.
The contract also states the city will provide a 100 percent rebate for 10 years for all undedicated sales tax generated in the parking garage retail space.