WHEELING - The McLure Hotel in downtown Wheeling has been operated under various owners throughout its illustrious history.
It first opened in 1952 and is one of only a few businesses in downtown that existed when West Virginia first came into existence on June 20, 1863.
The hotel has prospered during the good times and weathered the bad and yet, there is still stands, the focal point of lodging in the downtown area.
Now, with the oil and gas boom bringing workers, jobs and an influx of money into the area, the McLure Hotel is poised to capitalize.
And its doing say by listening to a most important voice, it's customers.
The hotel has brought in a new restaurant for the ground floor with somewhat unique hours. But those hours cater to a large section of the McLure's customer base - energy workers.
No less than 75 employees of one energy company have made the McLure their home away from home, even after their daily job site shifted to a location more than an hour way.
Odessa's Breakfast and Catering is that new restaurant that is situated adjacent to Harrigan's Pub in the hotel.
Odessa's will be open Sunday through Tuesday from 2 a.m. until 11 a.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m.
The menu is standard breakfast cuisine, with pancakes, waffles, omelettes, French toast and breakfast sandwiches, along with a-la-carte items and drinks.
The is the hours. At a time when most workers, and other hotel patrons, are either leaving extremely early to get to the job site or walking back through the door after a long day and night's work, they are looking for something to eat.
But in those early morning hours, their options are limited. Now they have a choice.
"The decision to bring in Odessa's was a reaction by ownership and management based on the requests of our guests," said Cynthia Johnson, the McLure's general manager. "We're hear what they are saying and we are acting on it."
Another plus is that live music and entertainment will return to Harrigan's Pub starting this Thursday after a half-year hiatus. Taking the stage first will be the Hit Play Band featuring Gregg Molnar and Ezra Hamilton.
Ongoing renovations are continuing inside both the hotel's 173 guest rooms and extended-stay apartments along with amenities for hotel guests to take advantage of.
The McLure offers high-speed internet access in the form of free hotel-wide wi-fi that guests can access. There is a business center, exercise rom and extensive laundry services.
The hotel also houses an 8,000 square-foot ballroom that is perfect for all manners of social and corporate events.
The rooms have been updated with new flatscreen televisions and refrigerators. Some jacuzzi suites are completed while others are under construction.
"While we recognize that a lot of new hotels and motels are under development and have opened in the last few years, the McLure has maintained a very high level of service and that has been very much appreciated by our out-of-town guests," Johnson said. "The ownership of the McLure continues to enhance our guests' experience," Johnson said. "We're making continuous efforts to upgrade."
Another aspect that plays into the charm of the is that no two rooms are the same.
"Our owner, Fran Garey, knows what she wants to do," Johnson said. "She wants to make this place unique and not a cookie-cutter hotel.
"Each room has its own personality."
The McLure Hotel is located at 1200 Market St. in downtown Wheeling and can be found online at www.mclurehotelwheeling.com
Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timesleader online.com