Mar. 3—ENID, Okla. — Enid's yet-to-open downtown hotel is set to have another owner-operator following the transfer of a city incentive agreement Tuesday.
Current owners Dr. Atul Patel and Anuj Patel are looking to sell the Best Western GLō on Maine and had wanted to transfer the city's agreement to the interested buyer, Purvish Kothari.
Since the existing incentive agreement first approved in 2017 cannot be assigned to a third party without the city's approval first, Enid city commissioners on Tuesday voted 5-2 in favor of extending to the new owner-operator the same obligations and incentives, with no additions.
Commissioner Ben Ezzell motioned to approve the transfer after an executive session, with Jerry Allen seconding. Commissioners Jonathan Waddell and Rob Stallings voted against the proposal.
Sale of the hotel has not yet taken place, and the Patels will first finish construction on the hotel ideally by the end of the month, Mayor George Pankonin said Tuesday night.
He said construction is expected to wrap by the end of the month, since work still is happening on the pool and the first floor.
"The motivation to finish that thing up is quite strong," Pankonin said. "All the rooms are done."
The Patels currently own and then, following construction, would manage the hotel though ENIDBWP LLC, a corporation of Edmond-based Aston Management and Dr. Patel.
As part of 2017's initial agreement, the city had voted to provide ENIDBWP a 40% room occupancy rate for the hotel's 96 rooms, which will last five years after the hotel's opening.
The city will pay the percentage profit difference between the minimum rate and actual yearly rate if management does not have more than 14,906 rooms occupied a year, capped at $1,681,920 per year, on a maximum $120 average daily rate.
A profit drawback provision would go into effect after each of the five years. If next year's occupancy rate is over 40%, the city would be able to draw back part or all the money paid the year before.
But with all the cancellations around town in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels in Enid still had an average 42% occupancy rate, Pankonin said.
"So there's no way in mind that we'd ever have to pay anything on a 40% room guarantee rate," he said.
The hotel has yet to open its doors despite several reports of expected dates in the past several years. It also has shuffled through several developers and management groups since plans began in 2012 to revitalize the downtown area, and the city first approved a development deal with another management group in 2013 to build, own and operate a Hilton Garden Inn & Suites.
Construction on the hotel through ENIDBWP ownership then began in summer 2018 and has continued through numerous reported weather-related delays.
Kothari, who is from the Denver, Colo., area, said to City Manager Jerald Gilbert that he is involved in ownership of four other hotels and has an extensive history in business and industry.
According to the website Colorado Business Brokers, Kothari is a real estate fund manager and a partner in Orion Capital LLC, a private equity and business advisory firm in Highlands Ranch, Colo. He also has been on the boards of several startups.
Ewald is copy editor and city/education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.