Former Habana rebrands as District Hotel
by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief
In case you haven't heard, as of June 1, it is official. The ever-popular hotel in the 39th St. District will change their name to District Hotel, forever leaving behind the iconic Habana name.
“The name Habana, while it has a rich history here, the name ties the hotel name to Cuba,” said Tom Lagatta, District Hotel owner who said this information is according to the State Department. “I also thought it would be better to tie the hotel locally, to the 39th St. District.”
Lagatta said he is trying to make the hotel more comfortable for everyone, especially women.
“In the past it has been exclusively for gay men, including the tagline, ‘The largest gay resort in the Southwest.’ We are taking steps for it to be an oasis for the broader LGBTQ+ community.”
He said they are not taking anything away from anyone, but rather adding to what exists.
“We want to provide respite for the questioning world,” he said.
District Hotel is proud to be a continuing part of the 39th Street District renovations.
“In keeping with the coming streetscape revision of the 39th Street District under the Oklahoma City MAPS program; the hotel is beginning its long-awaited renovation,” said Lagatta. “To keep the hotel and its venues in service over the required extended period, we will be proceeding in multiple stages.”
The District Lounge, adjacent to the hotel lobby, has reopened, and the pools are open as well.
“We are limiting our capacity to 50 percent, which includes the pool,” he said. “Chairs in the lounge are placed apart to provide for social distancing unless patrons move them.”
Management is using this downtime to make updates in the club.
Lagatta said he is concerned about exposing people to COVID-19, and staff are providing services according to CDC guidelines. The hotel now uses extra disinfectant in the rooms, especially surfaces, and all the laundry equipment is, as always, being chemically sanitized.
“Housekeeping staff are wearing mask and gloves, our front desk will wear masks and there is hand sanitizer everywhere throughout the hotel,” he said. “Drinks are all served in plastic cups, and garnishes and straws are only provided by request.
“We want to keep open and let everything be as normal as possible, but we need to keep a close eye on the numbers of people contracting the disease in the state, and the number of deaths as we move forward.”
He said from here, refurbishing the kitchen facilities is the top of the list for changes.
“We want to provide our loyal patrons proper restaurant services,” Lagatta said. “We have also made a decision to beautify the east and west ends of the property with a combination of murals that will highlight the character and diversity of the 39th Street District in order to honor and protect the history while we move forward into the future.”
On behalf of the entire District Hotel staff, Lagatta thanks the community for their continued support.
For more information about District Hotel, call (405) 528-2221 or visit www.DistrictHotelOKC.com.
Copyright The Gayly. 6/8/2020 @ 2:31 p.m. CST.