Hampton Inn opens near Hard Rock
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
9/21/10 at 5:20 AM
Hotel developer Kalpesh Desai says the Hard Rock Casino Tulsa has raised expectations in its Catoosa neighborhood.
"Everything the Hard Rock has done has been first class, and it's really putting us on the map," he said.
As such, Desai feels any hotel development near the casino can't afford to be mediocre. That's why he said he put a lot of work into his new Hampton Inn & Suites Tulsa/Catoosa.
The 120-room, five-floor hotel had its official grand opening Monday.
Although the Hard Rock was a motivator for Desai, he said the initial idea was to provide lodging associated with the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.
"I have friends who work there, and they said when they had guests, they had to go all the way to Tulsa," said Desai, who also operates a Red Roof Inn in Tulsa, and the Clarion Hotel and Hampton Inn in Broken Arrow.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the parent of Hampton, originally declined to lend its name to a hotel five years ago, when a closed truck stop sat near the site. But when that was demolished and the Cherokee Nation began transforming its Catoosa casino into a Hard Rock location, Hilton officials changed their minds, Desai said.
Hampton Inns can usually be constructed in less than a year, but Desai said highway construction nearby stretched the process to 15 months.
The hotel meets Hampton Inn specifications, complete with a large, high-ceiling "Great Room" in the lobby for guests to mingle. The breakfast serving area is at the far end and can be closed off after the meal, leaving the rest of the Great Room usable.
"This way it's not a dead space after breakfast is served," he said.
All guest rooms have mini-refrigerators, microwaves and safes, and the 37 studio suites have HDTVs that can swivel for both bed and office viewing.
The Hampton Inn also has a guest laundry, snack shop, business center and two meeting rooms.
Although Desai is confident his Hampton Inn will reach high occupancy, he has shelved plans for other development in the area out of concern about saturation.
"Over the last 18 months, we've had a 12 to 18 percent increase in hotel supply but a drop in demand," he said.
Hard Rock Casino continues to expand with concert venue
Although hotels are popping up in the area around the Hard Rock Casino Tulsa, the Catoosa resort itself isn't lacking for rooms - it has 356 of them.
Add in the 113 rooms at the Cherokee Inn, and the Cherokee Nation has a total of 469 on the grounds.
David Stewart, the CEO of Cherokee Nation Entertainment, said the tribe has had plenty of overnight guests this year.
"It's been outstanding; occupancy has exceeded our expectations for the end of summer," he said.
The resort continues to expand.
The Joint, Hard Rock's 2,700-seat concert venue, will open Sept. 30 with a concert by the Doobie Brothers.
Stewart said he's happy to see more developers come to the area as a result of the resort's popularity, calling it "great for everyone."
In the vicinity of the resort, unaffiliated hotels include the newly opened, 120-room Hampton Inn & Suites at 100 McNabb Field Road and a 80-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites at 18725 E. Admiral Place.
So far, most independent commercial development around the Hard Rock has been restaurants, such as Taco Bueno, McDonald's and a combination Taco Bell-KFC, as well as a Walgreens drug store.
Original Print Headline: New Hampton Inn opens
Robert Evatt 581-8447
The Hampton Inn & Suites Tulsa/Catoosa, a 120-room, five-floor hotel near the Hard Rock Casino Tulsa, had its official grand opening Monday. All guest rooms have mini-refrigerators, microwaves and safes, and the 37 studio suites have HDTVs that can swivel for bed and office viewing. Courtesy