WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A hotel that was once the premier place to stay or have events in Wichita Falls will eventually reopen, according to the owner in California.
The Grand Hotel on Broad Street is the largest hotel in the city with 240 rooms and has been vacant for several years, but it still has a maintenance staff working to keep it in good condition until the owner has the funds to reopen and repurpose it.
The Grand Hotel has been vacant since the end of 2013 after the hotel did not meet health code requirements that require at least 75% of the rooms to be rentable. Concerns about the closed business were raised after two women were arrested with drugs at the hotel recently.
“The person that opened the door for the ladies was our security,” Goodwin said. “He opened the door for them because they were supposed to be bringing him a meal. He is no longer with the hotel because he violated a rule which is don’t have outside traffic especially late at night.”
Ken Goodwin is the operations manager, and he said they have 24-hour security, maintenance and housekeeping crews there for most of the day. This is something that owner Larry Williams said is to help keep the hotel up to par for big plans he has in the works.
“We have another 104 rooms on the outside that was an add-on by Hilton that will be kind of upscale independent senior apartments,” Williams said.
Williams said he plans to have the inside serving as hospitality, meaning the inside will still be a hotel. Goodwin said it is important to keep alive.
“People have come to me with stories about Quinceañeras they’ve had here, weddings that they’ve had here, graduations and things, and Larry really wants to preserve things, especially with the atrium look and the banquet areas,” Goodwin said.
Stories that have stuck with this hotel through the good times and the bad, and hopes are there will be more memories to make in the future.
The Grand Hotel or New Grand Hotel has gone by several different names as well. It also was known as the Hilton, The Ramada Inn, Kiva Inn and Holiday Inn—all names this business has operated under.