“Those of you who are visiting today, we want you to come back, and we want you to stay,” Sherrer said.
Tourism is the third largest industry in the state, Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said in her address at the groundbreaking. Rosenthal said the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau is celebrating National Tourism week and the coming hotel will open up more rooms for conference space. Chamber of Commerce President John Woods said that’s key when people are attending a two- or three-day conference. They want to be close to the presenting hotel. Having the Holiday Inn located next to the Embassy Suites serves both venues well.
Rosenthal said the new hotel would create “added value” to Norman as a destination.
“It’s not just the six weekends in the fall when everyone shows up for the football games,” Rosenthal said. “It’s year-round.”
For Patel, the premier location in the upscale University North Park is a business venture worth taking. He said he believes in the future of Norman as a destination.
“Thank you for your very warm welcome,” Patel said. “We look forward to having a very good hotel. here.”