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General Manager Zackary Oxley likes to think of Hotel Vandivort as “the living room of Springfield.”
“We want people to come in, use the Wi-Fi, relax, have a cup of coffee – but more than anything – feel comfortable in the space and in the area,” he says.
The boutique hotel, at 305 E. Walnut St., is a hub for Queen City activity, with local artists and musicians highlighted weekly, featured local products and the lobby-turned-community living room.
Oxley says the hotel’s presence also has helped revive downtown Springfield by inspiring other business owners to beautify the area, which in turn impacts the community.
“All of that drives people to downtown, and it gives people in Springfield another reason to want to stay and live here,” he says. “Having a nice greater Springfield area with a nice, safe downtown setting that’s vibrant and economically fluid is very important.”
Declining to disclose 2018 revenue, Oxley says Hotel Vandivort recorded a year-over-year revenue increase of 12%.
“Our owners care more about the community than their own bottom line,” Oxley says of the McQueary family, which has owned and operated Springfield businesses for over a century. “They felt that because their family has been so successful in the area, that it’s important for them to give back, and I think they found a way to do that effectively and sustainably.”
The McQueary family hasn’t always been in the hotel game. In 2008, McKesson Corp. acquired McQueary Bros. Drug Co., a pharmacy product distributor locally owned by the family for 84 years, for $194 million, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
The family also has invested millions into the boutique hotel. Hotel Vandivort was a $13 million undertaking, and Phase II is estimated to cost around $9.75 million.
The hotel has participated in the First Friday Art Walk and showcased local artists’ work every Wednesday since opening in 2015.
Local musicians began performing during Saturday and Sunday brunch three months ago. Hotel Vandivort pays all of its performers, and it doesn’t charge a commission for any art sold at the hotel.
“We believe that if we provide opportunities for local artists to financially sustain their careers, Springfield will benefit by retaining more Ozark-born talent,” Oxley says.
The hotel also supports local businesses by including products in each room from Missouri Spirits, Askinosie Chocolate, Circle B Ranch and Savory Addictions Gourmet Nuts. The Order, a restaurant on the first floor, uses milk and cheese from Terrell Creek Farm and Edgewood Creamery, breads from Artisan’s Oven, coffee from Coffee Ethic and meat from JB Kobe Farms.
Oxley expects the economic impact to continue with Hotel Vandivort, Phase II, which should be complete by early fall. Between 15 and 25 employees will work at the five-story, 40,000-square-foot boutique hotel with 48 rooms. Hotel Vandivort currently employs around 100 people.
In its philanthropic efforts, each member of the management staff is asked to choose a charity or organization to support. In 2018, the hotel donated over $40,000 to such nonprofits as Harmony House, The Kitchen Inc. and The Glo Center.
Urban Studios LLC, a natural light photography studio and pop-up event space, opened; the Missouri State University Foundation became the new owner of event venue The Old Glass Place; and Polk County’s dining scene expanded with the opening of Flat Creek.