The DMN headline says it all: "Overbuilt and under a cloud". And then there’s this quote from George Roddy with the Foreclosure Listing Service: "The hotel market here got overbuilt and overfinanced. There are just too many of them." Among the hotels posted for foreclosure recently are the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Las Colinas. Analysts say the trend is nationwide, and North Texas is no exception. But the numbers don’t appear to be affecting the city-financed convention center hotel market: A quick internet search shows that city governments in Columbus, Ohio, and Austin are working on their own projects.
Two interesting tidbits from those cities: Austin is looking to build a second city-funded convention center hotel, with proponents saying the first one has been such a success that a second hotel will make the city even more competitive for large conventions. The story in the Austin American Statesman pointed out, however, that the 1998 city study commissioned to justify the first hotel predicted the expansion would result in 332,600 room nights per year, while Austin instead has averaged 152,000 room nights per year.
The other note of interest comes from a Columbus, Ohio, story about that city’s convention center hotel construction. I’ll simply quote a sentence from the Other Paper’s story: "Also unlike Central Ohio, however, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert decided the public taxpayers should have a say in whether to use tax revenues for the construction of a convention center hotel. His proposal was met with resistance, but passed by a narrow margin." I know it’s not Leppert’s fault that the paper mischaracterized his completely unwilling involvement in the hotel referendum, but again I have to hand it to the guy — even when he’s not trying, he’s a master of the media.
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