Atlas Life Hotel Conversion Shows Signs of Activity

It is good to see activity in the Atlas Life Building as hotel and development company SJS Hospitality LLC appears to be preparing to begin the conversion of the structure to a Courtyard by Marriott.
An SJS office has been opened in the lobby, and window signage is in place. Also, late last month, pre-bid meetings were held with contractors in the building at 415 S. Boston Ave.
No update on progress was available from Jeff Hartman, Tulsa operating partner of SJS Hospitality.
In March last year, an expected 18- to 24-month conversion of the historic building from retail and office use to a 120-room hotel was announced by SJS
Early plans were to allow the Tulsa Press Club and the Atlas Grill restaurant to remain in the building to offer dining options to hotel patrons and continued service to the downtown community.
The original announcement also called for Marriott’s national urban design team, which specializes in the development of existing buildings, to work closely with the SJS project team of Tulsa-based architects GH2 and contractor Thomas Construction to integrate the historical nature of the building throughout its renewal. SJS expected to invest about $12 million in the renovation.
Media Bloggers Offer Insurance
Michael Bates, battling a lawsuit from the Tulsa World for what he wrote in a newspaper column, would have media liability insurance if he’d said the same thing in his blog, according to the president of the Media Bloggers Association, Robert Cox.
“We have a legal matching service where we attempt to match them with an attorney,” he said. “The attorney would give them a preliminary response to their situation, offer a consultation.”
The MBA does not sell insurance but has a program to obtain insurance at a reduced rate from Media/Professional Insurance, Cox said.
“Joining the MBA entitles members to obtain a discounted rate if they qualify,” Cox said.
The insurance company makes a separate decision on whether to offer coverage, based on risk, the MBA Web site said.
Bates, writing for the Urban Tulsa Weekly, drew fire from the state’s second-largest morning daily paper regarding a January column about circulation. In its lawsuit, the TW said the audit showed drops of 6 percent in daily circulation and 5 percent in Sunday circulation during the period.
Bates and his attorney, John Eagleton, declined comment.
UTW Publisher Keith Skrzypcak reached a separate settlement and issued a retraction regarding the column.
Local Spanish Language Paper Changes to Bilingual Format
Hispano de Tulsa, the oldest Spanish language newspaper in northeast Oklahoma, takes a firm step toward the integration of the greater community by becoming a bilingual newspaper.
The completely re-designed weekly has been publishing its bilingual version since Jan. 1. The re-design was meant to modernize and improve the overall image of the newspaper.
“There needs to be integration between the Hispanic culture and those that surround us. Our community, as it has grown, has become isolated, which inhibits growth. It is my hope that the newspaper will help with this process,” said president and editor Margarita Vega-Trevi√±o.
A bilingual Hispano de Tulsa aims to convey a well-balanced perspective to the non Hispanic community, and to be the bridge that links the Hispanic culture to the many others that surround it.
According to the PEW Research Center, 53 percent of the time bilingual Hispanics in the U.S. prefer to read local news in Spanish. Besides, minority publications have yet to be affected by internet usage, particularly in communities such as Tulsa, where the majority of Hispanic immigrants are still first or second generation.
‘Greening Your Special Event’ Seminar Set For Next Week
Tulsa Master Recyclers are offering a seminar Feb. 4 on the topic of “Greening Your Special Event.” The seminar will focus on the preparations and procedures necessary to make any special event easier on the environment, and is geared toward event planners and venue operators.
The seminar will be Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the 10-South meeting room in City Hall at One Technology Center, 175 E. Second Street. Those interested are asked to pre-register by calling 596-2859. Cost for the event is $25, which includes lunch.
Check-in for the event begins at 8:30 a.m., with the Seminar beginning at 9 a.m.
TBJ Joins the Alliance
The Tulsa Business Journal has joined the Alliance of Area Business Publications, an organization of more than 70 regional and local business publications in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Australia.
TBJ membership was approved in January.
The combined circulation of AABP members is over 1.2 million business professionals, making the area business publications a powerful medium for business news coverage/opinion and for advertisers.
Founded in 1979, Alliance of Area Business Publications was started to bring together city and regional business magazines and tabloids throughout North America. Typical of its members are such publications as Crain’s Chicago Business, Florida Trend, New Orleans CityBusiness and Grand Rapids Business Journal.
TBJ Seeks Business Advisers
The Tulsa Business Journal wants to thank all of the members of the business community who have responded to our interest in establishing an advisory board and have submitted names for consideration.
TBJ is reaching out to Tulsa business leaders for a little advice on how to improve its coverage and service to the business community.
During the next few weeks, the TBJ will invite a number of those business leaders to participate on a TBJ advisory board. The panelists will be drawn from across the business sectors that make up the Tulsa business community.
If you are interested in participating or have any suggestions for qualified council members, please call Jim Mason, publisher, or Stephen Hillman, editor, at 585-6655.
Time to Nominate TBJ’s Next Class of 40 Under 40
The nominations are starting to roll in for the Tulsa Business Journal’s 2009 class of 40 under 40.
If you know a young up-and-comer who belongs in this class, it’s time to recommend the best and brightest for consideration.
In our April 27 issue, the TBJ will profile 40 individuals under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in the business community and who we expect to be among the next generation of movers and shakers.
Watch for the application form in the TBJ or go to to submit your nomination online. Submissions will be accepted until Feb. 27, 2009.
Qualifications are simple: Must be under 40 years of age (as of 4/27/09), must have made an impact on his or her company or community, shows the potential to be a leader in business, the community or politics during the next decade, is a resident of the Tulsa MSA.
If you are interested in sponsoring the 2009 class of 40 under 40, please call Jim Mason, TBJ publisher, at 585-6655.

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