The iconic Camino Real Hotel is getting a new look. On Tuesday, El Paso City Council gave the ok for the city to work with a private group to revitalize the downtown gem.
City officials say the renovation is going to cost $70-million. The city, county, and state are expected to provide $34-million in local and state tax incentives. A final incentive agreement will be presented back to council in September.
“It’s no surprise that this hotel is kind of underrated and it’s undervalued. It’s been kind of an eyesore in the city for a while,” said Josh Meyers, Vice President of Real Estate Development for Meyers Group, the real estate company taking over the hotel.
Guests at the Camino Real Hotel agreed. “The furniture is outdated, the TV is outdated, the carpet looks like pizza, it’s just really old,” said Sam Folmar.
Meyers says they’ve been negotiating with the Mexican corporation, Grupo Empresarial Angeles, who still owns the hotel for more than a year. Meyers tells NewsChannel 9 the deal hasn’t been finalized, but expects for it to close soon.
“For us, to put it back to its original state means to do a complete renovation of every single room, every single bathroom is going to be redone,” adds Meyers.
The group plans to invest big bucks remodeling every room.
“$89,000 a room, so you could imagine. For $89,000, you can build a house, so you know it’s going to be awesome, it’s going to be super luxurious. We’re going to restore the restaurants – there’s restaurant space downstairs that’s not being used, and we’re going to do a spa,” said Cito Beguiristain, Senior Executive Vice President of Planning and Development for Meyers Group.
There are also plans to improve the staffing and service.
“We’re talking to a couple hotel chains. We have one in mind that we really, really like and the reason that we like it is because we can keep the historical name of the hotel, which is the Paso Del Norte Hotel,” said Meyers. He could not say the chain, but explained why the group need’s the city’s help.
“We needed an extra boost to really kick start the whole El Paso economy.”
In return, Beguiristain says, “We agreed to share 20% of all our net profits with the city.”
Meyers anticipates for the renovation process to last two years, and hopes to start construction in January. Meyers adds he wants to keep the hotel open during construction.