Another Green Country city is trying to transform its downtown. For Muskogee, it hinges on the possibility of a new hotel next to the city's civic center. On Monday, council members looked at the many plans on the table and voted to approve.
Muskogee City Attorney Roy Tucker and other city leaders want this hotel to serve as a gateway to a new cultural district downtown.
"We're trying to modernize Muskogee and bring it into the 21st Century," Tucker said.
City officials said plans are for a 130 room hotel, designed for people visiting the city and attending meetings across the street.
Lisa Susanne, with Downtown Muskogee Inc., said, "When you're someone that's holding an event you want your conventioneers to roll out of bed and come right down into their meeting room."
She said the hotel will attract more attention to an area in need of development and preservation.
"The hotel just provides the attendees; we still need that mix of restaurant, entertainment and small business," Susanne said.
Before anyone can secure financing, Tucker said the city needs to show developers some numbers about the city and how much demand there is for another hotel. It could take more than two years for someone to break ground downtown.
Tucker said for the hotel to be a reality, other businesses like restaurants need to be interested in building downtown too.
"We've got to make it more attractive for those third party developers to be able to take this and develop a hotel," said Tucker.
Several major hotel brands already line busy Highway 69 on the west side of town. Tucker said those hotels already get a lot of business from travelers along the highway.
The $85,000 downtown hotel study will be paid for by the city's existing lodging tax. The new hotel would be right next to the site of Muskogee's new Little Theatre and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.