Opening of a hotel next to Campus Corner with a view of football OR
NORMAN — The best seat in town to watch the University of Oklahoma play football isn’t just coming a little late, but it’s already sold out for the rest of the season.
New has never been easy at Campus Corner, so this is the first hotel on its doorstep. The four-story, $27 million project missed the kick off of the football season, but it has stayed on course through three years of development to deliver a sleek, 92-room boutique hotel that will open this Thursday.
The NOUN Hotel, 542 University Blvd., borders Campus Corner at White Street and is a stone’s throw from OU’s North Oval. Stacked above its second-floor open-air living room are a pair of 1,000-square-foot suites sporting two patios and a view inside the Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
These suites also include a massive television that would allow a guest to watch in high definition the same game whose “Boomer Sooner” echoes through the North Oval and all the way to the University.
The color and pageantry like that, plus the tailgating aromas wafting below would cost a Sooner fan around $700 a night if the suites weren’t already booked for all of the remaining home games.
The N(orth)O(f)U(niversity,)N(orman) hotel only has two suites and they are available on non-game nights. The hotel has 24 rooms with a king bed and 66 rooms with double beds. Each is equipped with a smart TV, custom artwork, walk-in shower, and Italian linen sheets.
The massive hall connects two large flexible rooms that could be the looms where the community fabric is knit.
“Community is an essential pillar at NOUN Hotel,” said founding partner Scott Lambert. “There are going to be special programs and events. There will be Christmas events, wine tastings, cooking classes and book clubs.”
To the west of the massive marble and wood lobby, which includes a library, is a 3,400 square foot meeting space called the Boomer Sooner Room.
To the east is the Supper Club, which features more muted wood and glass in a horseshoe-shaped bar and dining area. The massive patio facing the University features a covered wagon that some call a schooner. The private dining/conference room also faces the patio, allowing the eyes of the upside-down silver longhorn mounted on the wall to see something.
The Normandy business community, particularly Campus Corner, is notoriously tight-knit, but founders Scott and Christine Lambert have that covered.
The couple met in Los Angeles and started Travertine Elevator Interiors there in 1998, but Christine grew up in Norman and graduated from OU with a degree in marketing. Their three sons are all Sooners.
Travertine has collaborated with hotels around the world such as Gaylord, Ritz-Carlton, Crescent Hotel, Omni, Planet Hollywood and Hotel Ambassador, giving the entrepreneurial couple a hands-on experience in the industry. The card-carrying nature of their relationship with Sooner Nation inspired the purchase of the land.
The Lamberts navigated relevant neighborhood associations as well as the Norman Planning Commission and City Council throughout a two-year journey that culminated in the start of construction last July.
Christine, who is President of Travertine, curated and designed artwork for each room, drawing inspiration from bison, cowboy hats, boots, horses, pickup trucks, musical notes, tornadoes , derricks and scissor-tailed flycatcher.
Earth tones throughout the hotel gave it the chance to incorporate crimson flourishes into every room. Picks like these make NOUN a destination when OU football is out of season, Lambert believes.
Besides OU football, Scott Lambert said in a statement that the NOUN will play a bigger role all year round.
“In addition to serving guests of campus events, the Norman Weather Center, weddings at campus churches, and other local events, marketing staff travel out of town to host conferences and other nighttime events and guests who have no connection to the university,” he said.
Legendary restaurateur and Normandy resident Hal Smith consulted on Supper Club, which will be chef Greg Lopez’s playground.
Lopez received her culinary studies at the New England Culinary Institute and her undergraduate degrees in psychology and English at Rutgers. He will oversee food and beverage offerings, including a fine American Supper Club menu that promises bold flavors and craft cocktails in a bistro setting for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
On the second floor is ONE bar with views of OU and Campus Corner from its outdoor terrace with fire pits. ONE has 14 TVs and a TV wall for the ultimate game day experience. Behind is a private dining room that Lopez will open in the future.
The hotel has over 3,900 square feet of gathering space, including banquet patio seating for outdoor events and large halls with 14-foot ceilings applicable for meetings, conferences, weddings, receptions , banquets and bridal showers.
“NOUN Hotel organizes intimate moments for parties large and small that match the NOUN Hotel guest experience,” said Lambert.
The Lamberts’ goal is to build a new pillar in the community that represents a “home away from home” full of aesthetic elements inspired by a vision to welcome all walks of life – even as they wear orange underwear.
For more information about the hotel, go online to nounhotel.com.