HB ON THE SCENE: Omni has $1B in project development

By Gregg Wallis on

October 21, 2018


DALLAS—Omni Hotels & Resorts has about $1 billion actively invested in new openings and property repositionings.

“Omni is in an expansion mode as we enter new and strategic markets across the country,” Dan Surette, SVP of sales and marketing with Omni Hotels & Resorts, told Hotel Business. “Our brand does particularly well in destinations that are evolving and have a large growth potential—especially in the group and convention markets.”

On Oct. 1, the company started on the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel, a convention center hotel set to open in early 2021.

The 17-story hotel will serve the city’s revitalized downtown area, including the future convention center, Scissortail Park and Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

“This whole area of Oklahoma City is going through a redevelopment,” Surette said. “We are excited to add to this market. We are creating a destination in the city because we want it to be that experience that when you go to the Omni, it is not rooms, a lobby, cup of coffee and go grab your Uber.”

The hotel is a $241-million investment and part of a public-private partnership with the city. The hotel will include 605 guestrooms, including 29 suites, and will offer seven dining outlets, a pool deck with event space, retail, 78,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space and a Mokara Spa.

In May, the company broke ground on the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport. The 1,055-room, $550-million project is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2021. The 21-story hotel, located across from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, will house approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and event space, which includes the largest hotel ballroom in Boston’s Seaport District, according to the company. It will also offer breakout rooms, outdoor and pre-function spaces.

The 1,055-room, $550-million Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2021.

In addition, six local nonprofits will receive a portion of the hotel’s profits, including The Edgerley Family South Boston Clubhouse of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston; The South Boston Community Health Center; Julie’s Family Learning Program; Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop To Inner-City Killing (LIPSTICK); The Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester; and the Building Pathways Program, a pre-apprenticeship program that provides construction career opportunities to low-income Boston residents.

In addition to the new-builds, Omni is reimagining several of its properties.

The 378-room Omni Houston Hotel was damaged during Hurricane Harvey and is expected to open in November after a $30-million revitalization. The first two floors of the hotel have been redesigned, with the addition of 2,500 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. The property will offer two new conference areas with boardrooms and breakout space.

The first floor will now include a high-end retail venue, coffee and wine bar and whiskey room that will pay homage to Houston’s history. “If there is any good out of this, it gave us an opportunity to reset the property,” said Surette.

The reimagining that Surette seems most excited about is that of the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, which is set to reopen in May after a $150-million investment. Omni purchased the property in 2013. “Omni Barton Creek was really a golf destination and very little in terms of the resort,” he said. “It was with golf in mind first, and then over the years, it had a few iterations of different owners and they added spots, but it was a little bit of a bolt-on.”

He continued, “We have been talking about reinvesting there and our owner said, ‘We have to get it right.’ We closed the hotel about five months ago and we will reopen on May 1.

“I am going to make a bold statement,” he said. “This will be one of the nicest resorts in the country—not the nicest resort in Texas—one of the nicest resorts in the country. It is going to be something. There is a new tower, new dining outlets, a multi-tier pool.”

These new and renovated projects come on the heels of three major openings since the summer of 2017.

The Omni Frisco at The Star opened in August 2017. The brand teamed up with the Dallas Cowboys to develop the property, which is located on the site of the NFL team’s headquarters.

The 300-room, 16-story luxury hotel is part of a mixed-use site that includes the team headquarters and shopping and dining venues.

Omni teamed with the Atlanta Braves for the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, which opened in January. The 264-room property, the official hotel of the team, is located at The Battery Atlanta, the city’s newest mixed-use complex and home to SunTrust Park, the Coca-Cola Roxy music venue and more.

In March, the brand’s latest property, the $300-million Omni Louisville Hotel, opened. The property has 600 rooms, including residential apartments. The hotel is also home to a 20,000-sq.-ft. urban market and food hall, a speakeasy with a bowling alley, extensive event spaces, a local art gallery and a luxury spa. HB