Study Says Downtown Needs Large Hotel

Debra McCartt,. Amarillo Mayor
Debra McCartt,. Amarillo Mayor

The Civic Center in downtown Amarillo is losing big business... And one research group says a large hotel is just the thing to solve the problem.

The city has been pushing for a downtown hotel for several years, and now, a Chicago based real estate consulting firm is backing them up, and has the research to prove it. It may just be a parking lot now, but in the near future, it could be the site of Amarillo's newest multi-million dollar hotel. Mayor Debra McCartt says, "I hope to see some kind of report by the end of the first quarter of 2009."

The sooner, the better... The lack of a downtown hotel is costing the Civic Center thousands. "Over 20,00 that we're aware of that we were not able to land," says VP of the Convention Visitors Council. Hunden Real Estate Consulting says a full service, 300 room hotel should help their money woes. Rob Hunden says, "This is what we needed in order to attract those groups that are going to bring the room nights without being too big or too small." Even though there is a Marriott planned for just a few blocks away on Polk Street, Hunden says a hotel on the property adjacent to the Globe News Center is vital as well because it allows people to easily walk right across the street to the Civic Center.

Holt is confident that convenience will bring in more business. "It's not necessarily the first question, but it does come up in the first meeting." Which will in turn, means only good things for the city's bank account. McCartt says, "More conventions which means more sales tax dollars and we rely heavily on sales tax dollars in this community." The entire hotel and parking garage is estimated to cost around 73-million dollars. As for specifically what hotel will be built, nothing is in set in stone yet, but the city is hoping a major hotel chain will pick up the project.