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Convention center hotel for everyone
Last week, we saw the first images of the Oklahoma City Omni Hotel based on actual design. True to Omni’s reputation of building exquisite hotels, the Oklahoma City design promises to be a piece of downtown architecture that we will be proud of.
I am particularly pleased with how Omni incorporated the hotel into the surrounding space, maximizing views of the city. The tower that houses the hotel rooms spans east and west along the new Oklahoma City Boulevard and will provide guests with great views of the downtown skyline and Scissortail Park. The lower floors of the hotel on the Robinson Avenue side are oriented directly toward the park and will feature restaurants, a sports bar, a coffee shop, outdoor dining, shopping, and event spaces. The large sidewalks and open-air seating blend dining and shopping with people moving in and around Scissortail Park.
Convention center hotels are often cited as being built for those who visit our city – and the Omni hotel will certainly serve convention delegates and tourists. But Omni’s features and amenities offer much more than a place for people visiting town. It will be for Oklahoma City residents as well. Omni’s convention center hotels in Dallas and Fort Worth are typically sold out on the weekends with local and regional residents coming to staycation and enjoy the amenities.
The hotel will be walking distance to downtown and Bricktown, and right on the streetcar line if you prefer to ride. There is easy access to both the Chesapeake Arena and the MAPS 3 Convention Center through north and south entrances.
Imagine going to the sports bar before or after Thunder games, or walking over to the hotel restaurant to get coffee or have dinner before a concert or an event in the park. You can book an appointment at the spa, or book a room for the weekend. The open rooftop pool terrace, which overlooks the park, will have resort-style cabanas, a bar and green spaces – a pleasant way to “get away” without leaving town.
The Omni convention center hotel will definitely benefit Oklahoma City by bringing more people and dollars and will enhance our city as a destination place. It will also be a place for Oklahoma City residents to use and enjoy year-round.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.