(KMOV.com) – The downtown Millennium Hotel officially closed its doors on Wednesday.
Workers say management has said it would take $80 million to upgrade the Millennium and no one is willing to cut that kind of check.
For the St. Louis Convention and Visitors’ Commission, it’s a blow as the group tries to keep luring more conventions and events to the city.
With 780 rooms, Millennium was once the largest hotel in St. Louis, making up about a tenth of the downtown hotel space that includes several more updated hotels. But the Millennium closed most of their rooms last year for renovations and all but 164 of its rooms had been out of service.
Officials say 80 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the closure.
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, the city says the Millennium’s owner will maintain the building’s water and utilities with the hope of finding a buyer.
“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,” Brian Hall with the said when the announcement was made in November.
Despite the closure, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission says the downtown hotel market is improving overall, noting both room occupancy and average daily room rates are on the rise.