WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - If you've driven by the Hotel by the Falls off of I-44 the last week, you've probably seen stuff being thrown out the windows.
"It's the easiest thing for them to do, the speediest way to help clear out this building," Assistant City Manager for the City of Wichita Falls, Paul Menzies said. "They removed some of the windows and are getting rid of everything."
Menzies said the ownership group Premiere Hospitality has hired a construction group to clean out the inside and renovate the outside after the city threatened to start citing them twice a week for issues with the building that has been vacant for years.
"We have a higher standard here than that," Menzies said. "This is right next to our namesake, the Falls."
This all started in April when the city began issuing citations every ten days to the old hotel owners, and issued a notice of action which opens the door to possible demolition down the road.
"They readily admitted this project had gotten out ahead of them a little bit with the security and the vagrants getting inside," Menzies said. "But at that time I'm not sure they were very motivated to do anything about it."
Now they are and Menzies expects the work to take four to five weeks.
He said the city is not aware of any plans for renovation, but added the construction is a welcome sight and proof the city's strategy to address the building is working.
"I think everybody's goal is this facility being back in operation with it being a benefit to the community and also profitable for the owner," Menzies said. "Right now neither is the case."
News Channel 6 reached out to the owners of Premiere Hospitality to see what their plans are for this project and long-term. At the time this story was published, we have yet to receive a response.
Menzies said they've had issues with squatters trying to take some of the furniture that's been thrown out and even some going in through the open windows that stuff is being thrown out of.
He said the city has talked with the construction company about the problem and now believe they've put a stop to it. Stay with News Channel 6. We will continue to follow this story.