I’m going to be a bit honest – the last manager and his marketing director did not make the greatest impression on me, and they weren’t a big hit with local industry leaders either. To sum it up – when it came to needing lodging in Oklahoma City, Barack Obama, the first black president, was denied a room at the Skirvin. A chance to atone for its history of barring black guests through the early 1960s was dismissed. It also cost the Skirvin of reviving its past glory as being the hotel of choice for visiting presidents (Obama ended up staying across the street at the Sheraton Hotel).
Grippo appears to have the same passion and appreciation for the Skirvin’s past that was demonstrated by the hotel’s first manager under Marcus Hotels and Resorts, John Williams. In visiting with the employees, she also has in just a short two months greatly improved morale with the staff. She shared with me her plans, and if all comes to pass, she will likely go a long way in mending any hard feelings that occurred under the prior leadership. As a teaser, I can share this: Christmas at the Skirvin will be better than ever with an extensive addition in holiday lighting on the building. Roseann Grippo, welcome to Oklahoma City. And kudos to Marcus Hotels and Resorts.