A number of midsize cities are building or proposing new convention center hotels.
In Columbus, Ohio, the Hilton Columbus Downtown will open this fall with 532 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel is next to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Savannah, Ga., is considering a project that would add a second hotel adjacent to the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island, across the river from the city’s historic district. A 500-room full-service hotel is proposed. The 403-room Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa is now adjacent to the center.
An expansion of the Holiday Inn that is connected to the Tinley Park Convention Center, south of Chicago, will give the 202-room hotel another 68 rooms, many of them suites. The new rooms are needed to support the convention center, which nearly doubled its meetings space last summer. The center has about 70,000 square feet of meeting space.
And in Portland, Ore., a proposal to build a 500-room hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center has been resurrected after being shelved during the economic downturn. A request for proposals has been issued.
Also, in Branson, Mo., the city’s main convention center hotel is expected to reopen by Oct. 1.
Hundreds of windows at the HIlton Branson Convention Center Hotel were blown out during a Feb. 29 tornado, and in late May, workers were about halfway finished replacing 3,800 panes of glass. Guest room and corridor carpeting is also being replaced. The adjacent Branson Convention Center has reopened and is fully operational. Staff there are helping groups meeting there this summer find alternative lodging.