Tulsa's Camelot Hotel has been sold - again. A developer plans to gut the building the Camelot Hotel shows plenty of scars from its history.
The English castle design is appropriate for a building that has seen such good times and bad. When it was built in 1964, the Camelot was one of Tulsa's premier hotels. It was called the Camelot Inn, because a Village Inn Restaurant was inside. The Camelot featured a swimming pool shaped like a shield - an actual drawbridge and moat, and was Tulsa's first hotel with telephones in the bathroom. A room for the night was $35. Anslie Perrault, Hotel Developer: "Well we have 361 rooms and suites, meeting space for 600 people."
The hotel remained popular until the late 1980's, when the luster wore off and the hotel passed through several owners - all with big dreams of restoration. Eventually it was turned into apartments - but the residents had to move when the health department condemned the Camelot in 1996. The department found inadequate plumbing - dangerous exposed wiring and overall filthy conditions.
Today the hotel is again on the verge of change with a developer buying the building - and a liquidator selling all the fixtures. John Klesch, Liquidator: "We have guys breaking into storage rooms and opening closets that haven't been opened in the past 10-20 years, so it's like a find or seek." Klesch estimates a million items remain inside - glasses and dinner plates, light fixtures and paintings - enough to stock a museum of 1960's medieval style, hotel quality reproductions.
The developer says the renovated hotel - called "Camelot at Brookside" will keep the exterior facade, but little else. Steve Pereff, Developer: "Our intent is to renovate the hotel and bring it up to date and after we've looked at the plans, we can probably accommodate 160 - 180 units of independent senior living.â€
The Camelot sale begins Saturday 10am-6pm, and runs thereafter Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm. The hours on Sunday are 1-6 pm, and it's at 51st and Peoria.