Tulsa Icon Gets Major Facelift

Sunday, December 28th 2008, 5:01 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa icon got a major facelift Sunday morning, all thanks to a rented helicopter. The chopper hovered over the downtown skies hauling air-conditioners 300 feet in the air.

It's all part of a multi-million dollar renovation project in downtown.

The Mayo Hotel has been out of business almost 30 years, but they'll open their doors again late next year with new air-conditioners.

Getting those air conditioners to the top of the roof was quite an ordeal.

This was an once-in-a-lifetime sight in downtown Tulsa.

A chopper hoisted massive air-conditioning units more than 300 feet up in the air and then let them go, perfectly in place like a puzzle piece.

It's all part of a $30 million renovation of the Mayo Hotel.

The construction manager says people have talked for years about renovating the historic building, but the investors are in place and the project really drives home the message.

"This is a big step. There's a lot of money involved in getting these air-conditioners on the roof," said Construction Manager Paul Rose.

The News On 6 got an exclusive peek of the airlift from the top of the Mayo.

The hotel will have more than 100 hotel rooms plus 70 luxury apartments. No retail, just residential, but there's no residential without heating and air-conditioning.

Each one of the air-conditioner units weighs 2,000 pounds and because this is a downtown city, using a helicopter was really the only option to get them all to the top of the hotel.

In total, the chopper made seven trips. Onlookers on the street just couldn't turn away.

"It's an icon. It symbolizes the past and the future of downtown. We think it's just the biggest deal going on," said Rose.

With the BOK Center just a stone's throw away, the construction team says an updated Mayo will carry a lot of weight in revitalizing downtown.

From start to finish, the whole thing took 15 minutes. It took a dozen workers to help guide each unit into place and while that chopper was hovering it was noisy, it was windy, but it was really quite a sight to see.