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February 23, 2015

Des Moines Looks to Build Convention Center Hotel




The midwest is continuing to boost its appeal to the MICE market: Des Moines, Iowa, is looking to build a new hotel to bring in larger-scale meetings and events. The City Council is reviewing a plan to build a $100 million Iowa Events Center Hotel. 

According to local station WHO13, the 330-room property is projected to bring a $35 million impact in its first year and draw 3 million additional visitors to the city. The property would generate more than 300 permanent jobs to operate the hotel.

The project is scaled back considerably from the original vision of a 16-story, 450-room hotel at a cost of roughly $130 million, the Des Moines Register notes. Officials reportedly said that the original plan proved too expensive and too large for a city of Des Moines' size.

If built as planned, the project would rely on more than $60 million in public money: $39.4 million from a new state program, $14.2 million from the city, $6 million from the county and $1 million from a state environmental cleanup grant.

The project would be funded by TIF grants from the city, cash from Polk County, and loans borrowed against the operating revenue of the hotel. When open, the hotel would be run as a non-profit, governed by a seven-member board of directors.

The City Council will be asked to consider approving a terms of agreement for the project at Monday night’s Council meeting.

 


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