The historic Will Rogers Hotel in downtown Claremore looks better than ever. The hotel, which now serves as apartments for seniors, is completing a seven-month, $2.4 million renovation.
On the corner of Will Rogers Boulevard and Route 66, you'll find a slice of Claremore history.
"I remember when this was still a hotel," Claremore resident Sally Ann Wilson said.
When Wilson was growing up, the Will Rogers Hotel was booming.
Part of its popularity came from its radium water - a type of mineral water that smelled like sulfur.
Jessica Jackson with Claremore Main Street said, "We love the radium baths and that history of Claremore and having that downtown.”
Radium water baths were very popular in the hotel's heyday. The water was said to be able to cure many different kinds of ailments.
During the renovations, the builders were able to preserve some of the baths.
A developer out of Kansas bought the hotel in November, investing nearly $2.5 million for renovations to update the 38 apartment units.
Wilson is one of its residents.
"It is wonderful. All new appliances, new fixtures, new windows, new carpeting; I mean, you couldn't get any better," she said.
There's also a brand-new game room and a state-of-the-art movie theater.
The hotel, built in 1930, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's one of the only original hotels left in Claremore.
Jackson said, "It's just a staple. It's right on the corner of Will Rogers Boulevard and Route 66, and so it's just a part of downtown. It's our biggest building, it's our staple. It's our anchor."
For Wilson, it's like seeing an old friend at her best.
"She looks great, doesn't she? The ol' girl is back again," she said.
You can see the renovations for yourself Thursday. The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Business After Hours event at the hotel at 5 p.m.