$310M Kansas City, MO convention hotel moving forward
- The Kansas City (MO) City Council on Thursday passed the last remaining measure necessary for construction of a new $310 million convention center hotel to begin later this year, according to the Kansas City Star.
- The new legislation creates a Community Improvement District (CID) around the hotel site and sanctions necessary zoning and redevelopment, which includes an elevated walkway across a main thoroughfare to the convention center.
- Some council members pushed backed against the city donating land and permitting CID hotel and guest taxes to go toward financing the project. However, Mayor Sly James said the city doesn't face risk for the project and will not guarantee an upcoming $100 million hotel bond issue.
Kansas City tourism officials said the city is losing out on convention business and that hotel construction must begin before the end of the year so that it can compete for other shows. This demonstrates that the city has discovered a growing realization among cities — the fact that adequate, upscale hotel space is a necessity in drawing in conventions and trade shows.
Portland, OR, is building a hotel across the street from the Oregon Convention Center, a project that has been about 30 years in the making. The general contractor for the 600-room Hyatt Regency is Mortenson Construction, and Dan Mehls, vice president and general manager of Mortenson's Portland office, told Construction Dive in March that hotels are what puts convention centers in the black financially.
In fact, Oregon officials surveyed national convention planners, and 79% responded that they would be more likely to book events at the Oregon Convention Center if there were an "amenity-rich" hotel next door.
Texas officials are also banking on the ability of hotels to bring in lucrative convention business. Both Irving, TX, and the state are kicking in for the 350-room, $113 million Westin Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas hotel and meeting venue near the convention center, which is already reportedly booked an average of 300 days a year. Construction crews broke ground on the project in March and are projected to be complete in 2019.
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