Marcus opens in Oklahoma City

Marcus Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of the 225-room Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.Marcus Hotels and Resorts oversaw the complete restoration of the historic landmark property and will operate the hotel. As of March 1, 2007, the Skirvin Hilton will be the 20th property owned or operated by the company, bringing Marcus’ total hotel room count to approximately 5,100. The Skirvin Hilton represents one of the seven properties added to the company’s portfolio within the past twelve months, with an eighth property currently under development.

The property, which is the oldest existing hotel in the state, has been shuttered since 1988. It has undergone a more than $55 million renovation to modernize the hotel, while carefully retaining its historic details. The hotel is owned by Skirvin Partners, LLC, a partnership between Marcus Hotels and Resorts, the majority equity owner, and Skirvin Partners in Development.

“We have a passion for historic hotels. The Skirvin Hilton is our fourth historic hotel restoration, building on our 40-year history of repositioning landmark hotels into pre-eminent hospitality venues. Our existing management infrastructure is well suited to negotiate the complexities of historically significant buildings and the various tax credit agencies involved,” said Bill Otto, president of Marcus Hotels and Resorts.

“The Skirvin, which originally opened in 1911, has played a very significant role in Oklahoma’s history. We are committed to carrying on this tradition, creating new memories and delivering exceptional service to our guests.”

The success of the rehabilitation project recently prompted Oklahoma’s State Historic Preservation Office to award its 2007 Citation of Merit to the development team.

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The Skirvin Hilton is a grand hotel in the tradition of other historic hotels. “This grand dame property is of tremendous cultural and historical significance. We believe the restored Skirvin Hilton will be a tremendous addition to our portfolio and a welcome site for residents and guests of Oklahoma City when they see the hotel returned to its former glory,” Otto noted.

Located at One Park Avenue, the 14-story, smoke-free hotel is comprised of three separate towers with 225 guest rooms, including 20 one-bedroom suites and one Presidential Suite. Hotel amenities include the signature Park Avenue Grill restaurant, which retains the Art Deco look of the hotel’s former interior design, the Red Piano lounge, a fitness center, indoor swimming pool, business center, 18,500 square feet of meeting and pre-function space and a Hiltons HHonors lounge.

Rooms are equipped with the latest technology, including flat-panel, high-definition televisions, and wired and wireless high-speed Internet access. Each room will be furnished with the new Hilton Serenity Bed, the Serenity Bath Collection featuring the exclusive Crabtree & Evelyn line of La Source bath amenities and the easy-to-set Hilton Family alarm clock with MP3 player connectivity.

“This was a complex public-private project from both a restoration and financing aspect, involving new-market tax credits and federal and state historic tax credits,” Otto noted. “Oklahoma City officials were very supportive throughout the entire process.”

“Marcus Hotels and Resorts did a marvelous job restoring one of our oldest ‘citizens,’ the Skirvin Hilton,” said James Couch, city manager. “We believe the hotel will play a key role in reinvigorating growth in the downtown area.”

“They were a great development team,” said Catherine Montgomery, State Historic Preservation Office architect and coordinator of the historic tax credit program. “They really did understand the larger goals of a preservation project. Communication was easy, and that’s really important for a successful project.”

The grand opening of the Skirvin Hilton has been declared an official Oklahoma Centennial event. Oklahomans celebrate the state’s 100th year of statehood throughout 2007.

The architect for the project was Kahler Slater Architects, a leading design firm for historic hotel restorations, with a long-term relationship with Marcus Hotels and Resorts. Interior design was created by Duncan & Miller Design and Flintco Construction was the general contractor.
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