By Roberto Hugo González
In the heart of McAllen, Texas, the Radisson Hotel recently celebrated a significant milestone, marking five years of successful operation. McAllen City Mayor Javier Villalobos and other distinguished guests graced this festive event, highlighting the hotel’s transformation and growth.
The Radisson Hotel, once a Hilton Hotel in the early eighties, has undergone remarkable changes. Mayor Villalobos emphasized the hotel’s impressive journey in his address: “What’s going on today? What is it? Five years? Five years. Five years. And five amazing years because we have an excellent establishment here. But not only that, we have some people running this place who are truly amazing.”
He also expressed his pride in the establishment, recognizing its contribution to McAllen’s image: “I’m delighted because I’m in Mexico all the time promoting the city and the region, but I think I have another ambassador, and I think y’all can see what the difference he has made.”
Omar Guevara, the General Manager of Radisson Hotel, shared heartfelt words of gratitude and reflected on the hotel’s journey: “Five years ago, we took on this challenge, and Grant Crosslin
Regional Director for Radisson Hotels was there to help me get all this started.”
Guevara recounted the challenges faced in reviving the then-abandoned building: “This building sat abandoned eight and a half years, took us a year and a half to get it up and running, and every day there’s always something to fix, something to make better.”
The celebration also highlighted the invaluable contributions of his wife, Norma, who oversees the Food and Beverage Services and catering. Guevara’s acknowledgment of their partnership was touching: “I don’t work with my wife. I work for my wife.”
In a symbolic gesture of love and appreciation, Omar presented Norma with flowers before the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by four chambers of commerce. This gesture was a moving moment, highlighting the personal and professional partnership integral to the hotel’s success. The event culminated in part with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a testament to the hotel’s resilience and community spirit. With four giant scissors representing each chamber of commerce, Omar, Mayor Villalobos, Jay, and Sue Patel owners, and Norma participated in the ceremonial cutting of four beautiful ribbons.
This anniversary celebration not only commemorated five years of business success but also marked the Radisson Hotel’s deep-rooted commitment to the McAllen community, a sentiment echoed by Guevara: “There are no lines on a map that can divide our community. We all work together.”
The Radisson Hotel McAllen’s anniversary celebration not only marked five years of success but also served as evidence of the facility’s remarkable evolution. The event’s culmination was highlighted by a special proclamation delivered by McAllen City Commissioner Joaquin Zamora.
Commissioner Zamora, expressing his admiration for the hotel’s management, Omar and Norma Guevara, said, “You are wonderful for McAllen. We’re truly a blessed community.” He then presented a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Javier Villalobos and the board of commissioners, recognizing the hotel’s significant contribution to McAllen’s hospitality landscape.
The proclamation outlined the hotel’s journey, acknowledging its various transformations from the McAllen Airport Hilton established in 1977, through its time as Sheraton Four Points and the McAllen Grand Plaza. This rich history has contributed significantly to the city’s diverse hotel offerings.
A key highlight of the proclamation was the recognition of the facility’s period of closure and subsequent revival. In 2017, visionary individuals undertook a year and a half of meticulous restoration, leading to the hotel’s rebirth in 2018. This effort was celebrated as a monumental achievement in McAllen’s history.
The proclamation also emphasized the Radisson Hotel’s commitment to providing an exceptional hospitality experience. Its strategic location near the McAllen International Airport, La Plaza Mall, McAllen Performing Arts Center, and the Quinta Mazatlán, positions it as an ideal destination for both residents and visitors.
In his response, Omar expressed gratitude to the community, his family, and his team. He highlighted the hotel’s love for its international market and guests from Mexico, underscoring McAllen’s status as a beautiful and welcoming city. Guevara proudly stated, “Everything happens at the Radisson McAllen Airport.”
The proclamation by Commissioner Zamora officially designated November 9, 2023, as Radisson Hotel Day, marking a celebration of the hotel’s transformation and its role in enhancing McAllen’s community life.