hotels

  It's been estimated that Kansas City has lost out on $3 billion worth of business over the last ten years because of convention commerce that’s vanished. The city’s proposed downtown convention hotel is supposed to be the answer, but is the $302 million project going to deliver the economic impact it promises?

Guests:

  • Steve Vockrodt is a reporter for The Pitch.
  • Patrick Tuohey is the Western Missouri Field Manager for the Show-Me Institute.
Hotel Muehlebach Centennial Times

In May of 1915, the Hotel Muehlebach opened its doors in downtown Kansas City with a 500 balloon release from the roof. In the 100 years since, there have been booms and busts, multiple renovations, and visits from Babe Ruth, The Beatles and 16 presidents.

At its opening, the Muehlebach was boasted as the most opulent hotel in Kansas City, originally with 12 stories, 500 rooms, two restaurants, a tea room and a music room. It was the first hotel in the area to have air conditioning — a luxury at the time.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A Kansas City Council committee gave initial approval to a plan for a new downtown convention hotel Wednesday.

The city's Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee approved an outline for a $300 million, 800-room Hyatt hotel. The plan puts the city on the hook for $35 million, which would come from the city's existing tourism funds that currently go to Kemper Arena.

Don’t be surprised to find yourself booked by the noisy ice machine if you're rude to the hotel front desk clerk. And do you really want to know what the housekeeper and the bellman were doing in the empty room next door?