Developer plots Hotel Durant revival - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Developer plots Hotel Durant revival

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Until recently, the exterior of the Hotel Durant was hidden by a metal facade. (KTEN) Until recently, the exterior of the Hotel Durant was hidden by a metal facade. (KTEN)

DURANT, Okla. -- There are plans underway to give a durable Durant landmark a much-needed makeover.

The Hotel Durant at 312 West Main Street was the place to stay in the last century. The building, which recently had its metal facade removed, caught the attention of developers who see an opportunity.

Here's what it looked like in June, before the original exterior was revealed:

"It was kind of a mystery to everybody," said Curt Walker, who purchased the building with a plan to restore its former glory. "I felt like there was no better time than to jump on it and unwrap it, like a big Christmas present."

Colleen Smith's mother owned the original Jubilation House on the first floor of the hotel from 1969 to 1979. It became her second home.

"We would walk here after school and I would practice my twirling in the ballroom," Smith recalled.

Despite the now-tattered beds and dusty windows, the hotel was once a symbol of Durant's booming growth.

"Saturday was the big shopping day, and all of Bryan County came into Durant," said Carroll Staton, who has lived in the city for 90 years. "You couldn't get a parking space if you weren't there before 10 o'clock."

Walker said he thinks the Hotel Durant is worthy of a 21st century rebirth.

"This kind of help brings us back to those old times," he said. "We can never duplicate them, but we can try and bring them back, and bring back that charm. That's all we are trying to do."

Walker said he doesn't yet have a concrete plan for redevelopment of the hotel, but he's hoping it can help pave the way for more growth and development along Main Street.

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