The Lubbock Holiday Inn Express started accepting guests again just hours after they were allowed to re-open. NewsChannel 11 first told you the owners voluntarily shut down the hotel located on Interstate 27 after the city found major structural problems.
On the afternoon of Friday, April 8, city inspectors conducted a final walk through and said the structure was secure. Hours later, guests were aloud to stay at the Holiday Inn Express. After two months of repairs that were estimated to have cost around $70,000, it's now considered a safe hotel.
City Inspector, Steve O'Neil, said, "the building is safe for occupancy. They've handled everything we were concerned about. They've been entirely professional and diligent through the whole process."
In February, when the hotel closed, the outside may have looked just like it does now. However, in February, NewsChannel 11 obtained documents stating the building could've collapsed because of structural problems. Less than 24 hours later, dozens of guests were forced to leave.
"I went to get me something to snack on and came back and they said we had 40 minutes to get out," said one guest in February.
Holiday Inn Express Shuts Down Indefinitely
Holiday Inn Express owners have agreed to shut its doors and bring the hotel up to codes.
Shortly after the problems were cited, improvements began. The main concern was that the second floor of the building and the overhang of the carport would collapse. "As they expose something the city has asked they call before they cover it up so we can verify it onsite and document it," said O'Neil on February 22nd.
O'Neil has said all along that the city has actively been involved. After the reports came out, he along with an outside engineer and contractor worked together on the improvements. O'Neil's crew gave the go ahead for each building project before it was completed, bringing us to the safe and final product.
"The quality control on repairs couldn't have been any tighter than it was, therefore, I'd say the building is safe for occupancy. No one need worry about any structural issues in that building," said O'Neil.
A few minor cosmetic issues, such as some painting, still need to be completed. However, O'Neil assures it's safe for you to stay at the Holiday Inn Express.