Popular downtown St. Louis landmark to close

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 21 at 10:13 AM

(KMOV) -- Officials for a major downtown St. Louis landmark announced imminent closure was coming in 2014.

News 4 confirmed that most of the workers at the Millennium Hotel will be sent to the unemployment line when the hotel closes on January 22.

A formal announcement is scheduled for Thursday, but News 4 learned that 100 or more workers were flagged on the situation Wednesday evening.

The hotel was built three years after the Gateway Arch was finished and its distinct circular architecture makes it among the most familiar buildings downtown.

Workers there say the management has stated it would take $80 million to upgrade the Millennium and no one is willing to cut that kind of check.

News 4 made calls to management, but they were not returned as of Wednesday night.

"Losing a large hotel in the city, I imagine is a step back.  Naturally we prefer to see the hotel remain a going concern and for them to put the appropriate improvements in place for that hotel to carry on they need to make that business decision,” said Brian Hall with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors’ Commission.

For the CVC, it’s a blow as the group tries to keep luring more conventions and events to the city. The Millennium’s 780 rooms make up about a tenth of downtown St. Louis’ hotel space which does include several more updated hotels.

A St. Louis City Hall spokesperson said there are no plans to tear down the Millennium Tower, which is topped with a rotating restaurant. Instead, workers say the plan is to keep the space operational with the hope of finding a buyer.

"It’s disappointing that this announcement may be imminent but I’m sure a group will step in and find a way forward,” said Hall.

Also, News 4 learned the Millennium is working with other hotels to take those customers who have reservations after January 22. 

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