Anybody want to buy a Route 66 motel that was converted into a prison?
If so, you’re in luck. The former Suntide Inn in Oklahoma City, later the now-closed Kate Barnard Community Correction Center, will be sold at auction June 15 by the state as surplus property, according to The Oklahoman newspaper.
The old correctional center sits on a 3.52-acre site near State Highway 74 and Interstate 44. The property is appraised at $780,000, its main value being the land. The state is required to realize at least 90 percent of its appraised value.
Before it was purchased by the Corrections Department in June 1977 to be a men’s correctional facility, the property was the Suntide Inn, a popular motel built in the 1950s along Route 66 near SH 74 and I-44. The property was converted to a female correctional facility in 1992 and remained in operation until 2012, when its inmates were relocated. The Corrections Department declared it as surplus property in 2013.
Bidders can inspect the property from 10 a.m. to noon June 1. The Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services is conducting the sale.
According to Joe Sonderman’s “Route 66 in Oklahoma,” the motel originally was owned by Lyle and Ruby Overman. It opened in 1940 as the Major Court, then changed its name to the Major Motel. It grew into the 75-unit Suntide Inn, dedicated in August 1960 by Miss Oklahoma.
Unsaid in the story is the state of Oklahoma needs the cash from the auction because revenues have dropped amid the collapse of oil prices in the past few months.
(Postcard image of the Suntide Inn via the Illinois Digital Archives)