ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The sound of a steel guitar will soon be silenced at the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis. The hotel announced last week that it will close January 22, 2014.
“We knew something was up,” said DeWitt Scott Jr., whose father “Scotty” was instrumental in St. Louis becoming the home of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, and its yearly steel guitar convention, which draws attendees from around the globe.
He said over time they “slowly watched the hotel start to deteriorate.”
Scott said organizers had already booked another venue for the 2014 convention, prior to the Millennium’s announcement. It will be held at the Airport Marriott.
Despite the setback, Scott said the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame will never leave St. Louis for another city. “We have no intentions to move it out of St. Louis we just need to find a more permanent place.”
Now the long process of packing begins. Scott told KMOX 75 plaques each weighing around 80 pounds will need to be taken off the wall and placed in storage.
What’s next of the Millennium?
Who will buy and renovate the Millennium remains uncertain, but according to developer Kevin McGowan, head of Blue Urban, the hotel will always remain a hotel and won’t be turned into residential units.
“The costs are too great to convert it over, and really in today’s market we don’t have the horsepower we use to have… We don’t have the will to do the projects that we used to do,” he said.
The hotel’s debt will be written down until someone steps up and buys the Millennium. McGowan said barring lawsuits a new hotel could reopen next summer.