The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 21, 2013

Hilton Garden Inn will benefit Enid Renaissance

ENID, Okla. — We’re excited about Enid City Commission approving the contract for a downtown hotel.

Commissioners approved the plan Tuesday with LodgeWell Group LLC. LodgeWell will construct a $14 million Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to the new Enid Event Center and Convention Hall.

The contract approved Tuesday specifies LodgeWell will develop the 131-room hotel and a parking facility with ground-level retail space.

The hotel will be located at Independence and Maine, incorporating the facade of the Kress Building. The parking garage is planned for frontage on Maine, east of the hotel. The parking garage will be located where Cherokee Strip Conference Center currently stands.

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.

The city will rent the parking facility and retail space for at least 10 years, with the total rental cost being equal to the cost of constructing the parking facility and “all operating and reasonable management fees and expenses.”

The parking facility agreement specifies a maximum of 131 parking spaces be allocated to the hotel, and all parking revenues generated in the facility will be shared on a 50/50 basis between LodgeWell and the city.

Upon completion of the 10-year lease term, LodgeWell would transfer title for the parking facility to the city.

The hotel will enhance the Enid Renaissance Project work undertaken downtown.

A hotel is necessary for bringing in shows and attractions to Enid Event Center and Convention Hall.

We hope construction can begin soon.

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