This Just In
  • Freeman takes a giant step into the burgeoning realm of augmented reality and virtual reality with its acquisition of San Francisco-based
  • Helios Interactive.
  • Charlotte is moving forward with plans to renovate and add new meeting space to the city’s convention center. Work begins in 2019.
  • The $110 million project includes new pre-function space and 26,000 sf of meeting space. A new skyway will connect to the Westin hotel.
  • Diversified Communications announced the acquisition of Luxperience, an Australian hosted buyer event focused on luxury travel.
  • It is one of Diversified’s first forays into the hosted buyer segment. The move is expected to complement the company’s
  • British Tourism & Travel brand.
  • Hong Kong’s exhibition industry urged support for an expansion of the city’s convention center. The HKECIA said it will meet future demand.
  • The proposal would raze three buildings near the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and add about 23,000 sm of connected space.

Checking In

Danica Tormohlen
, Editor-at-Large
September 1, 2014

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Hoteliers across the U.S. are enjoying increased revenues, occupancies and average daily rates (ADR). All of the major hotel chains — including Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott and Starwood – are reporting strong gains through the 2nd Quarter of 2014. 

While this is great news for hotels, show organizers aren’t necessarily celebrating. After years of enjoying a buyer’s market, show organizers can expect to pay higher room rates – in some but not all destinations — in the near term. It will also be tougher to negotiate contracts for group business if corporate and leisure travelers continue to fill more room nights.

The good news: Hotel construction is on the rise. There are a number of hotel/convention center complexes under construction, and it’s likely we are headed for more if the economy continues to grow. In fact, Marriott ended 2013 with more than 22,000 hotel rooms under construction in the U.S., representing the largest hotel construction pipeline in the industry, according to data from Smith Travel Research. 

Recent Openings

Since last year’s edition of TSE’s Hotel/Convention Center Complexes of North America, several hotel properties have completed construction. The largest opening in the last year:  The 1,175-room, 49-suite Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, which is adjacent to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Hotel guests have direct access to the convention center via an underground concourse connection. The hotel features 83 meeting rooms with105,000 sf of total meeting space and the Marquis Ballroom with a capacity of 3,000. 

In addition, the Omni Nashville Hotel opened in Fall 2013 across the street from Music City Center. The new 21-story hotel features 800 rooms and 54 suites. It also offers 80,000 sf of meeting space and 49,000 sf of pre-function space. Under a room-block agreement for incentives with the city, Omni gives 80% of its room inventory to large citywide conventions booked three years in advance and 50% to those booked two to three years in advance.

In May, the Westin Cleveland Downtown, a $70 million project, opened after being closed for more than two years for renovations. Located across the street from the Cleveland Convention Center/Global Center for Health Innovation, the former Crowne Plaza Hotel has been transformed into a 484-room Starwood property. All guest rooms include a sectional sofa, an ergonomic work space and high-speed Wi-Fi. The hotel features more than 20,000 sf of meeting space, including a 9,000 sf Grand Ballroom and 18 meeting rooms.

The Courtyard by Marriott opened with 116 rooms in Peoria, IL, in July. Connected via skywalk to the Peoria Civic Center, the hotel features one meeting room with 600 square feet of meeting space. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi along with a business center, indoor pool and fitness facility. Also in July, a skywalk that connects the Peoria Civic Center to the Peoria Marriott Père Marquette was completed. The 10-story Peoria Marriott Père Marquette, which opened in June 2013, features 286 guest rooms and seven meeting rooms with 19,000 sf of event space. 

The new six-story Hyatt Place Detroit/Novi opened in August 2013. Attached to the Suburban Collection Showplace, the hotel offers 126 guest rooms — all of which feature a 42-inch HDTV, the Hyatt Grand Bed and a sectional sofa; complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel; and complimentary breakfast.

Coming Soon

In February 2015, the JW Marriott Austin is expected to open with 1,012 rooms near the Austin Convention Center. The new 34-story hotel will offer 112,000 sf of event space. The $300 million project represents the largest JW Marriott in the U.S., and the second largest JW Marriott in the world.

In Irving, TX, Westin Hotels & Resorts is constructing a 350-room hotel that is set to open in late 2015. Connected via a skybridge to the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, the $90 million hotel will offer 300 parking spaces and 20,000 sf of meeting room space.

In Toronto, ON, Hotel X at Exhibition Place is slated to open with 406 rooms in 2015. Across from the Direct Energy Centre and connected by skybridge to the Allstream Centre, the 29-story hotel will offer 93 junior suites and 39 suites. Hotel X will also feature two ballrooms, 11 meeting rooms, two screening rooms, and a 294-seat two-level cinema.

In Spokane, WA, the Grand Hotel Spokane is scheduled to open in Summer 2015. Connected to the Spokane Convention Center, the 716-room hotel will feature an 18,000 sf ballroom and 62,500 sf of meeting space.

In The Pipeline

In Houston, the new 1,000-room Marriott Marquis Houston attached via skybridge to the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRBCC) is set to open in Summer 2016. The hotel will offer 29 meeting rooms with 104,000 sf of meeting space including the Grand Ballroom with capacity for 4,400. Featuring an infinity pool, lazy river, three event lawns, and a special events pavilion overlooking Discovery Green, the hotel will also feature a full service spa and state-of-the-art fitness center.

In August, Houston First Corporation (HFC) issued an RFP for a new 400-room hotel adjacent to the GRBCC. The hotel, which would attach via skybridge to the north end of the GRBCC, will be located on 15 floors above a 1,900-space parking garage and would include a ground-floor lobby and guest drop-off area. Construction is expected to begin next year.

In Boston, two Starwood hotels are scheduled to open in 2016. The Aloft Boston Waterfront Hotel will offer 330 rooms and the Element Hotel will offer 180 rooms. Both are located across the street from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Construction is already underway on the $158 million combined projects.

In Louisville, KY, the Omni Louisville Hotel is expected to begin construction on a 600-room hotel in 2015. Located across the street from the Kentucky International Convention Center, the new four-diamond hotel will offer 70,000 sf of meeting space, a rooftop pool-side café, a spa and fitness center. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

In McAllen, TX, the Embassy Suites is expected to begin construction on a $20 million six-story hotel this Fall. Adjacent to the McAllen Convention Center, the hotel will offer 150 rooms and 12,660 sf of ballroom and meeting space. The hotel is scheduled to open in Spring 2016.

In Chicago, the Marriott Marquis McCormick Place is expected to open a 55-story hotel with 1,200 rooms in 2016. Part of the $400 million McCormick Place entertainment district, the hotel will be joined by a 12-story data center, new park space and event center. The hotel, which will be adjacent to McCormick Place, plans to choose a design/build team in September.

In May, construction began on the new Hilton West Palm Beach in Florida. The $110 million hotel will offer 400 rooms across the street from the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The hotel is scheduled to open in Spring 2016. 

About this Report

Trade Show Executive’s annual report reviews the status of hotel/convention center complexes in North America. Basic information, such as hotel convenience, number of guest rooms, event space and contact information, is provided. The venues are broken out by category in a quick reference list. The main listings are organized alphabetically by facility name. Properties under construction are noted with target completion dates. Trade Show Executive will continue to monitor the progress of these construction projects and new properties in the pre-construction phases.