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TULSA, Okla. -- Convenience chain QuikTrip, based here, holds a contract to purchase the former Camelot Hotel site, to build the company's 500th store in celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2008, reported the Tulsa World.
"This site is very close to where our first store used to be," company spokesman Mike Thornbrugh told the paper, noting the first QuikTrip opened Sept. 25, 1958, at 5204 S. Peoria Ave. in Tulsa, Okla. "The area has a lot of sentimental value to us. We can't think of a better way to celebrate 50 years in business than to go back to where it all started."
While the purchase price can not be disclosed until after the closing, it is expected to be complete later this week, he added.
The Camelot Hotel was one of the area's most upscale hotels -- hosting celebrities such as Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon, according to the report. The eight-story hotel will be razed at a cost of about $1 million, which was provided in a loan by the Tulsa Industrial Authority to the property owner, the nonprofit Maharishi Ayur-Ved University. The building will be completely removed by September.
George Hooper, a Tulsa attorney who represents the university, told the paper the loan will be repaid from the proceeds of the sale.
"QuikTrip would be responsible for assuming, performing and paying the asbestos removal and demolition contracts," he said.
The contract with QuikTrip has been in place since March, Hooper said. The loan was a means of starting the demolition process to keep the city from trying to legally acquire the property.
The 257,389-square-foot property is bigger than what's needed for a standard QuikTrip, so the rest of the site could be offered up to other developers, Thornbrugh told the World.
"We don't have any of the details, but other things will be happening there," he said. "We're not planning on building a mega QuikTrip."
Thornbrugh added the city will benefit from the sales tax revenues the property will generate.
"It's a wonderful piece of ground, right along the I-44 corridor, that will make way for a great store," he said.