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'Camino Real Hotel' sign to be taken down Wednesday

Removal signals beginning of hotel's renovations

EL PASO, Texas - Tuesday night will be the last night the purple glow of the "Camino Real Hotel" sign will be seen in downtown El Paso.

The Meyers Group and Two Sabes LLL will begin preparations for the renovation of Hotel Paso del Norte with the removal of the "Camino Real Hotel" sign from the rooftop this Wednesday beginning at noon. Renovations are expected to last 18 months.

The Meyers Group finalized its acquisition of the historic hotel in October. The 356-room property is located on 101 South El Paso Street.

The redevelopment of the historic Camino Real hotel has long been a goal of city officials. Frustrated city and tourism officials have said the state of the hotel is such that El Paso has lost out on conventions because people don't want to stay at the Camino Real as the owners failed to upgrade it to convention standards and the city couldn't recommend it, either.

The property fell in disrepair even before Grupo Empresarial Angeles, a Mexican company that owns dozens of hotels, took it over, but its decay accelerated since then.

A city news release earlier this year stated the renovation is expected to cost $70 million, with city, county and state incentives of $34 million.

The historic hotel was originally built in 1912. The Camino Real Hotel earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the Meyers Group said. 

Once renovations are completed in a year-and-a-half, the Meyers Group plans to reopen under the hotel's historic name, Hotel Paso del Norte.

Renovation plans for the hotel include all 356 hotel rooms and suites, as well the second-floor Grand Ball room, and meeting and conference rooms.

The entire lobby level, including all food and beverage operations, and especially the famous dome bar and restaurant, will be fully restored, the Meyers Group said.

The 10th floor ballroom and terrace, currently being used for mechanical purposes, will be restored and will feature a luxurious full-service spa, state-of-the-art gym, pool and pool deck, along with dining and beverage on the terraces overlooking the city.

"We want to capture a sophisticated, contemporary and upscale American Western theme capitalizing on the hotel's rich history that also includes both Mexican and Native American elements," Meyers added. "Our plan is to create a unique hotel experience."

Earlier this year, the Meyers Group also closed on the purchase of a four-acre vacant lot at 201 Shadow Mountain Drive. A mixed-use development is planned for the West El Paso property, including 300 units of condominiums, 50,000 square feet of supporting retail development which includes food, retail, entertainment and the possibility of a hotel.

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