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Pittsburg motel damaged in February windstorm to be demolished - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg motel damaged in February windstorm to be demolished

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The Economy Inn & Suites in south Pittsburg received extensive damage from straight winds last February and little has been done since then.

But thanks to a little push from the city that is about to change.

"It's been a long drawn out process," says Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall.  "I think the insurance company and the owners are trying to work out whether it was a total loss, or whether it was just something they needed to repair."

According to Hall, Pittsburg residents have been calling and complaining about the blue tarped buildings for nearly a year and he says it was the final straw for the city to finally file for a demolition order.

"We had a demolition order issued against the facility based on the cost of repair, estimates that we had seen and the value of the facility," says Hall.

The insurance company immediately filed an injunction against the order but this past Friday it was proven that the replacement cost of all seven of the property's buildings was over half of the value of that building.

As a result it must come down in the next 60 to 90 days.

It's an opportunity the Director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitor Bureau finds very exciting.

"We do get to full, a 100% capacity probably 10, 15 times a year," says B.J. Harris.  "If we have a big busy year, this will definitely - if they can get it up and built especially in the next year - it will help us, that we can keep those people here over night."

Owner Hasu Bhakta lives in Wichita but told us in a phone interview that he does plan to rebuild after the demolition as soon as possible.  Bhakta says he also plans to rebuild a small convention and meeting center in addition to the hotel.

Bhakta says he will meet with city officials and Pittsburg State University officials on Tuesday to discuss plans.

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