By Steve Lackmeyer
The debate over whether the city should pursue development of a conference hotel will likely enter a new phase this week when residents will know whether the project is likely to move forward or die.
For the past few years, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau have argued a conference hotel is critical to the success of a new convention center being built as part of MAPS 3. Everyone involved acknowledges that for such a hotel to be developed, some sort of public financing will be required.
But what that public financing might total, and its source, remains a mystery that might be resolved this next year.
The Oklahoma City Council was asked in June to authorize hiring a consultant to come up with such an analysis. But the council asked that the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City first engage studies to determine if a large hotel is viable, and what economic impact might result.