Cleveland Clinic spokesman Rob Whitehouse said the decision to raze the Omni, which the Clinic owns, was made to meet the "urgent need" for more hotel space on the hospital's campus.
"The Omni is almost constantly at capacity," Whitehouse said. "And the need for more rooms for families of patients at the Clinic is pressing. Because of land restrictions, the best solution is to tear down the existing hotel and replace it with a larger facility with more rooms."
Construction has already begun on a 161-suite hotel for long-term guests on Euclid Avenue, between 88th and 89th streets, Whitehouse said.
When that project is complete--probably in late 1999, Whitehouse estimates--the Omni will come down.
In its place, a 291-room Inter-Continental Hotel will start going up.
Although the luxury hotel will accommodate two restaurants, there will be about a year and a half of downtime between the Omni's demolition and the new facility's completion. Whitehouse said it hasn't yet been determined who will operate the new restaurants, although Rulli said she doubted that any of the present Classics staff would be involved.