Construction efforts on the downtown hotel began Thursday with surveyors staking out the building's layout.

"I'm very excited that progress has finally started. It's been a long time coming, and I think anybody can go out and look at those stakes now and clearly see the layout. The dirtwork should follow soon," City Manager Jerald Gilbert said. "I'd like to thank everybody that was involved. It's been a long process. I appreciate the commission's patience, and the efforts of the (Enid Regional Development Alliance), the commission, Main Street Enid, Visit Enid, the (Central National Bank) event center, Spectra people, Dr. (Atul) Patel and his folks, former commissioners and former City Manager Eric Benson.

"It will be very exciting to see the progress."

Enid Economic Development Authority entered into a master development agreement on Feb. 23, 2017, with the hotel developer, ENIDBWP LLC — which is Aston Management and Patel — for the construction of a Best Western GLō hotel.

A room occupancy guarantee agreement was approved in November. It involves a 40 percent room rate guarantee, for five years, calculated on an annual basis for 96 rooms, Gilbert told the EEDA.

Work on the hotel was to begin within 45 days of a Dec. 20 closing on a lending deal.

The city of Enid has pursued a downtown hotel since 2011, when developer LodgeWell LLC was selected. The developer was unsuccessful in attaining financing for the project.

When the contract with LodgeWell expired, Peachtree Hotel Group II LLC was selected. Around December 2015, when the price of oil dropped, the developer started getting nervous about the Enid market, said Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance director.

The city of Enid began working with Aston Management in June 2016. Patel previously said he has built a couple of hotels in Enid and others in Chickasha and in Oklahoma City.

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Miller is city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. She can be reached at jmiller@enidnews.com.

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Involved in news reporting for about 15 years, I've been with the Enid News & Eagle since 2014, when my family moved to Enid to be on the family farm.