The Journal Record
By Cathy O’Connor
The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution to move forward with acquiring property for a proposed convention center hotel. This resolution is the first in many steps toward bringing in an integrated, full-service hotel to support the MAPS 3 downtown convention center.
In September, the city condensed a long list of potential convention hotel managers and developers down to four. These include Omni Hotels, Marcus Hotels and Resorts, Mortenson and Matthews Southwest. The city will continue to perform the due diligence necessary so the City Council can make a decision to move forward with the development of a convention center hotel and select from these qualified developers.
With the adjoining hotel, the convention center will meet many of the demands of today’s conventions and the diverse needs of their attendees. The convention center will potentially increase hotel demand by more than 25 percent in the two years after it is built. This will create a great demand for a full-service hotel, with amenities that will promote the overall convention experience. Also, we must keep in mind that the overall Oklahoma City experience for convention attendees will hinge on their visit to the convention center and their stay in a downtown hotel.
This hotel will take on a large part of these demands, and will directly affect how Oklahoma City captures the convention market. Conventions and conferences typically do not want to spread their attendees across several hotels. Keeping them on or near the premises means more people visiting the convention space and attending sessions and meetings.