Historic Oklahoma City hotel gets $4.3 million makeover

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OKLAHOMA - From the Gothic decorations overhead to the ornate gold elevators, history fills one of downtown Oklahoma City's oldest hotels.

Now, it's getting a $4.3 million face-lift.

One of the revamps includes new flooring in the lobby.

Something a visitor may not notice right away, but staff hopes the small touches will make a big impact.

“Trying to take a very historic lobby and make it relevant," said Skirvin Hotel's General Manager Gerald Rappaport. "Taking up a floor from 1911 was no easy task."

The lobby is getting some of the biggest renovations.

"The floor was in terrible condition. We knew there was no way to save it. We tried everything we could to restore it, but you just can't do it," Rapport said. "So, we came up with a plan to do something really, really significant."

Almost every inch of the 225 guest room hotel has been updated.

"It is significant. It included all of the guest rooms, all of the guest corridors, the lobby and Red Piano Lounge," Rapport said.

Each guest room has new curtains, beds and all of the accessories to go along with it.

The Skirvin sat empty for years until public and private funds were used to restore it back to its glory days.

Now, just nine years later, Rappaport said they want to stay ahead of the competition.

"There's a lot of new hotels that have been opening, and we really need to stay ahead of the curve," he said. "Even though the hotel was in great shape, we really need to be able to preempt the competition and stay ahead of the curve."

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