OC hotel may open in limited capacity in about a month

The former Days Inn hotel in downtown Oil City may be opening in a limited fashion in about a month.

Mark Schroyer, Oil City’s city manager, said the new owners of the hotel told him they plan to have 25 rooms available in 30 days.

Schroyer said the owners, Oil City Hospitality, have said they will work with the city this summer during the Oil Heritage Festival and other events to allow them to use the facilities for a staging area during concerts.

The owners told Schroyer they had been having issues with their insurance following a water line break in the hotel in the winter.

Schroyer said he believed the water damage was more or less limited to the lobby area of the hotel.

“The new owner has a reputation for turning hotels around so we were pleased when he was interested in the hotel,” Schroyer said.

Oil City Hospitality, a private company based in Richmond, Virginia, bought the hotel in December from First Western SBLC Inc. of Dallas, Texas.

The bank was the sole bidder for the 106-room hotel at a Venango County sheriff’s sale in mid-2020.

Following the sale, there was activity at the hotel through December and into January, Schroyer said.

The new owners got an occupancy permit from the city to start the process of reopening the hotel, according to Schroyer.

“A caretaker was living there and people were in and out of the building,” he said. But Schroyer added he “has seen no activity” for a while.

“There is work to be done, no question about that,” Schroyer said, “They have been working with city officials.”

He added that while the building has sat vacant, police have been keeping an eye on it, and no issues with vandalism or other crimes have occurred.

The hotel was built as a five-story Holiday Inn at a cost of $1.6 million. It opened for business in August 1965 on a 3.5 acre site formerly occupied by the Pennsylvania Railroad depot and freight houses.

Those buildings were razed in a major downtown redevelopment project in the early 1960s.

The hotel was later renamed the Arlington and became part of the America’s Best Value Inn chain.

In 2013, it became a Days Inn as part of the Wyndham Hotel chain.