Omni groundbreaking highlights continuing downtown development

Published Wednesday, October 3, 2018
by Cathy O'Connor

On Monday, Omni Hotel leadership, along with city officials and city leaders, officially broke ground on the beautiful 605-room Omni Oklahoma City hotel set to open in early 2021.

As we stood on the empty site south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena, it was inspiring to hear Mayor David Holt talk about how the Omni will play a significant role in the continued transformation of our city. Peter Streble, president of Omni Hotel and Resorts, shared details about the hotel interiors, thoughtfully based on Oklahoma’s prairie landscapes. Omni Hotels owner Robert Rowling promised culinary experiences, amenities and luxurious room features second to none. The four-diamond hotel will definitely be a bragging point for attracting conventions, events and tourists to Oklahoma City.

When we were reviewing development proposals for a convention center hotel three years ago, Omni’s unique designs, known luxury brand and commitment to quality customer service were factors in our decision. Another deciding factor was its ownership model. Omni is investing more than $150 million into the total cost of building the hotel. This is one of the largest private investments in Oklahoma, with the hotel assuming the construction and operating risks. Often, after large hotels are built, they are sold to a group of investors who hire a management company to operate the hotel. Omni’s ownership model is different. Omni hotels are owned and operated by the company and typically held long-term, meaning the company we are in a contract with now is the same company we will be working with in the future.

The increased room capacity will bring thousands of people who will add new dollars to our economy through lodging, food, entertainment and shopping. The hotel and motel industry in Oklahoma City overall will also see an increase in room demand. In cities where Omni has built a signature hotel, such as Nashville and most recently in Louisville, the occupancy rate for other hotels in the area has increased by as much as 30 percent.

The groundbreaking ceremony on Monday was a symbolic gesture of what is to come with the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel. It signified a partnership and a commitment that will benefit our city, our visitors and our residents for years to come.

Cathy O’Connor is the president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

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