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September 4, 2015

Kansas City Credits Upcoming Hotel With Large-Scale Event Bookings

Earlier this week, Visit KC, Kansas City's hospitality and tourism organization, announced four major conventions for the city. The bookings could generate more than $17 million for the local economy, according to the Kansas City Star.

The conventions are:

▪ The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science will hold its national meeting here in 2021, with about 4,500 attendees projected. This is the first time the group has selected Kansas City for its convention.

▪ The Mothers of Preschoolers International will return to the city in 2017, bringing about 3,500 attendees.

▪ The American Public Works Association chose Kansas City for its 2018 “International Public Works Congress & Expo,” which should draw about 5,000 members.

▪ Quilts Inc. selected Kansas City for its 2019 “International Spring Quilt Market.” The event is expected to attract about 7,000 visitors.

The events may well be possible due to an 800-room Hyatt hotel that is slated for the city. The The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science “short-listed” Kansas City once the convention center hotel was announced this spring.

If all goes as planned, construction could begin in the first quarter of next year, about the time that a new downtown streetcar line is expected to open. Supporters hope the Hyatt can open by mid-2018.

According to Visit KC's website, the convention headquarters hotel will have approximately 75,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and pre-convene space, 9,000 square feet of garden/terrace space, 15,450 square feet of other retail, restaurant, bar and lounge space, a 9,913-square-foot recreational facility and a parking facility with 450-500 spaces. The site maximizes and centralizes convention hotel meeting space in close proximity to the Grand Ballroom and related meeting space of the Kansas City Convention Center/Bartle Hall. It centralizes ballroom and meeting space to the east of the Convention Center, closer to many downtown amenities. The site is a short walk from the Power & Light District, Sprint Center and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The project is a public-private partnership. The city investment of $35 million is fixed, does not originate from the General Fund and will be financed with revenues from existing Convention and Tourism taxes paid predominantly by outoftown visitors. Taxpayers will not be responsible for any project cost overruns. The balance of the project cost is financed by the new city and county taxes generated by the new hotel’s operations, ballroom catering revenues plus private equity and debt.

The project is expected to cost about $311 million.

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