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Historic hotel ready for $40 million makeover
Tulsa's Skirvin

By Steve Lackmeyer Published: July 2, 2008
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TULSA — The Mayo Hotel, a once-proud landmark turned eyesore, is getting a long-awaited makeover that will result in 72 apartments and 100 hotel rooms being added to downtown.

With construction crews already at work on 11 of the building's 20 stories, dignitaries gathered Tuesday to celebrate the $40 million renovation.

"It's exciting,” said Macy Snyder, whose family bought the hotel in 2001 for $250,000. "The long journey is coming to an end — but it's also coming to a beginning.”

Those in attendance included Mayor Kathy Taylor, who called the Mayo renovation critical to the revival of downtown Tulsa. Looking out a window, Taylor pointed to the BOK Arena scheduled to open later this year and the old City Hall that is being vacated with hopes of being replaced by a convention hotel.

"This is an amazing place,” Taylor said. "The downtown revitalization shows Tulsa is back.”

The hotel was slated for demolition when it was bought by the Snyders. They initially restored the first floor, which over the past few years has been used for special events, including two inaugurations for Gov.

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In comparison
Several attending Tuesday's construction commencement ceremonies compared the Mayo Hotel to the recently renovated Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. Both hotels were considered the grandest of their time, and both were closed and dilapidated for two decades.

The Mayo Hotel, built in 1925, boasts a history that includes visits by Bob Hope, Charles Limbergh, John F. Kennedy and Charlie Chaplin, and longtime residents included oilman J. Paul Getty.

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