Demolition of historic Excelsior Springs hotel expected to take weeks

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EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. — Demolition is underway for the former Royal Hotel. Crews are being careful to make sure the collapsing structure is being torn down safely.

City officials say bricks started falling from the old hotel in May. But last week a police officer noticed signs of further collapse, and that made demolition of the structure much more urgent.

The city said the building has been vacant for more than 20 years. Decades of neglect caused water damage from a leaky roof, which eventually made the building unstable.

Taking down the structure is costing the city about $160,000 and will take two to three weeks to complete and clean up.

“It’s an incredibly slow process because we have to be worried about the safety of the individuals around us, as well as the safety of personal property,” Melinda Mehaffy, the city’s economic development director, said. “It’s very intentional. When Dean Demolition is taking a building down, they are very intentional about where they are hitting, what they are doing and how they are bringing it down. So we are working through that process.”

The city planned to place a lien on the property to eventually recoup the demolition costs from a property owner. Mehaffy said the current owner spent the last year seeking historic building tax credits in an effort to save the structure.

Mehaffy also said the brick is about three or four feet thick on the exterior walls. The demolition company panned on salvaging brick and other materials that can be sold.

About eight people who live nearby have been evacuated temporarily to the Elms Hotel.

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