KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the past couple of years, it’s been an eyesore in northeast Kansas City. It’s also been a center for vagrants and looting. Now this Sunday morning, an abandoned hotel will be coming down.
The former Ramada Inn located in an industrial park on Universal Avenue near I-435 just north of Front Street is scheduled to come down at 8 a.m. June 24.
The two remaining towers are now virtually empty shells being prepared for implosion.
A crew from the locally based company Industrial Salvage & Wrecking has drilled more than 2,000 holes on the first, third and sixth floors of the towers.
That crew is now in the process of filling those holes with roughly 500 pounds of dynamite.
Then areas are wrapped with black felt paper on the exterior to prevent stray chunks of the building from flying out.
"Hopefully by 4 o'clock [Saturday] night, we'll be ready as we say to rock and roll," said Chuck Cacioppo Jr., the owner of Industrial Salvage & Wrecking.
The 41 Action News Investigators first reported problems with the abandoned hotel last August.
Despite the city's best efforts to keep people off the property, there was a consistent problem with looters and vagrants.
At one point, a suspected looter fell down an elevator shaft and was killed.
Last year, the 41 Action News Skyhawk Drone captured video of people on the roof of one of the towers.
The 41 Action News Investigators also found a pickup truck in the swimming pool.
The pool has since been filled as preparation work for the implosion.
"It looks like something from a third world, bombed out country," said Joe Lamothe, the developer for the industrial park.
Last year, the 41 Action News Investigators traced hotel owner Andrew Marin to Brazil through his Facebook page, which he's since taken down.
The city hasn't had any luck finding Marin, so the implosion will be at taxpayers' expense.
"I think it's certainly appreciated. First I'll say the city, since this has become a problem, has really stepped up," Lamothe said.
According to Cacioppo, once the dynamite is detonated, it will take 30 to 45 seconds for the two towers to tumble to the ground.
"It's going to be fun, it's going to be like snap, snap, snap, that's it," he said.
But the work will be far from over.
Cacioppo said it will take four to five weeks to haul all the debris away once the towers come down.
City leaders including Mayor Sly James have been invited to attend Sunday's implosion.
Parts of I-435, Front Street, and Universal Avenue will be closed prior to and after the implosion.