A second chance: Members vote to save downtown's Amarillo Club

A second chance: Members vote to save downtown's Amarillo Club
Amarillo Club (Source: KFDA)
Amarillo Club (Source: KFDA)
Amarillo Club (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Decades of history are in the heart of downtown Amarillo.

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Founded in 1947, the Amarillo Club sits in the 30th and 31st floors of the now-Amarillo Tower.

"They've been around forever," said Aaron Emerson, the leasing agent for Amarillo Tower. "There's a lot of history and you don't want to lose that. You don't want to lose that in the town."

That history came to a halt nearly two weeks ago with the announcement that the Amarillo Club was closing and would likely dissolve the business, leaving many with questions.

On Tuesday evening, the voting members of the club held a special meeting to reconsider the fate of the historic spot. Just after 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, NewsChannel 10 received word that the club was saved.

"We're excited that they've got a chance to move forward," said Emerson.

In an announcement to members, the Amarillo Club presented the good news, also noting that according to Board President Brandon Kuhn, financial difficulties that began in 2014 made an impact on the club's current status.

According to the announcement, member Jerry Hodge worked with other members to contribute $250,000 to the Amarillo Club to give directors time to pay rent and "put a plan into place for future success."

"The landlord of the building has agreed to give them a considerable rent concession to help and then a group of folks agreed to raise money to give them some relief," said Emerson.

If the members had voted to dissolve the business, leaving the Amarillo Tower with a big vacancy, the Tower already had an alternate dining plan in place.

"Had they not, our backup plan is to get another restaurant operator up there," said Emerson.

The proposed reopening date for the club is set for June 30 to give directors and volunteer members the chance to work on landlord negotiations, staffing and membership plans.

Emerson notes the mark the club has left on the Amarillo Tower.

"One of the best parts of this building is the networking," said Emerson. "The Amarillo Club adds to that significantly."

It will now continue to add to it, with this second chance for the historic business.

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