ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s January 22nd…checkout time for a long familiar part of the St. Louis skyline.
The renowned rooftop restaurant has stopped revolving and on Wednesday they’ll close the doors for good at the Millennium Hotel near the riverfront.
In fact, “riverfront” was part of one of the many previous names that the Millennium has gone by since opening in the late 1960’s: Regal Riverfront, Clarion, Stouffer’s.
It was then bought by the North American arm of the Millennium Hotels group of London about a decade ago, but St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission president Kitty Ratcliffe says the hotel, which once boasted nearly 800 rooms, just wasn’t able to keep up with changing times.
“It needs a major infusion of capital,” Ratcliffe tells KMOX News. “It has not had any upgrades in probably close to 20 years.”
Ratcliffe says a “reimagining” of the property, which sits on prime real estate, might include a mixture of upgraded hotel rooms and residential space.
The loss of the Millennium isn’t a huge blow to area tourism — only about 160 or so rooms were still open.
And Ratcliffe still expects 2014 to be a big year for the CVC.
“In addition to repeat business we have some new business this year that’s never come before,” she points out. “O’Reilly Auto Parts will be holding their meeting here in just a couple of weeks, it’s the first time they’ve been in St. Louis. We have the Society of Nuclear Medicine coming this year.”
She’s also excited about the return of the FIRST Robotics competition at America’s Center, which has signed on to be in St. Louis through at least 2017.
This is coming off a year in which the overall hotel occupancy rate here was 68%, compared to 55% in 2009.
The average daily room rate also rose from $109.65 four years ago to $122.29 in 2013.
Ratcliffe adds they were able to work with Millennium management to relocate conventions that had been booked there in 2014.