KANSAS CITY – The biggest chain of Kansas hotels, Estes Park and IHG, announced Monday they would be closing their Kansas City headquarters.
The move comes amid a global downturn in hotel occupancy and a national trend to move to cheaper lodging options in cities such as Dallas and Orlando.
The move will leave hundreds of hotels across the country with fewer than 10 employees, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
“It’s a great day for Kansas City and I am so thankful for the many wonderful employees we have at Estes park and I Hg.
We are excited about the opportunity to return to our downtown Kansas City home,” said IHg Chief Executive Officer Jeff Nesbitt.”
Kansas City has become a very vibrant city and we are grateful to our customers and employees who have served as a source of inspiration for our business and the people who make it what it is today,” he said.
Nesbert said the Kansas Capital Metro’s new downtown office complex will open in 2019.
IHg plans to open a hotel in a former gas station in Midtown and a restaurant in the city’s historic downtown.
The Kansas City Marriott, the hotel’s parent company, said it is moving its headquarters from its current location at the former Midtown site to the new facility in the Midtown Shopping Center.
There will be a few changes, including moving some of its corporate offices to a new, smaller space, the company said.
“Our goal is to continue to provide the highest-quality customer experience while also providing our guests the opportunity for the best value on their hotel stay,” said a statement from the Marriott.
The decision comes as the Kansas Tourism Department announced plans to close the historic Midtown Market hotel.
The hotel, which opened in the 1960s, closed in February after failing to meet hotel occupancy standards.
The department also cited poor weather and a lack of new rooms.
It also said the hotel had an occupancy rate of just 8.8 percent last year.
A spokeswoman for the Kansas tourism department said it plans to announce a timeline for relocating the MidTown Market hotel to a site that is less congested.
The department has been looking for an alternative to the hotel in the hopes that it could serve more of its guests, the spokeswoman said.
The Midtown hotel, with a capacity of 3,000, was the tallest building in the country and the third tallest in the world.