KCUR News
3:14 am
Fri May 22, 2009

Cautious Council Likes Downtown Hotel Idea

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council received the first report on a proposed new 1,000-room downtown hotel with cautious enthusiasm yesterday.

It takes seven hotels to accommodate a convention of 2,000 persons - and two of them are more than a mile and a half from the convention center. That, according to the Convention and Visitors Association will have cost the city 4 Billion dollars in convention business by 2014.

But the hotel to remedy the situation would also be costly, according to yesterday's report - either the city would have to build and then lease the $300 million facility or or in some way partner in half or more of the cost through tax breaks. All of the council members agreed with colleague Russ Johnson, who said: "We have drug this on too long. It is now time to move this to a much more aggressive schedule."

But there was no rush to judgment. The next step, if the council approves it is a $150,000 study that includes possible locations, construction options, and a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.