Plans for Convention Center Headquarters Hotel Proceed

Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Oklahoma City is on track to increase its share of the convention market as it moves forward with plans to build a downtown headquarters hotel. On Tuesday, July 18, City Council approved a deal with Omni Hotels to develop a headquarters hotel that will support the MAPS 3 Convention Center.

“Having Omni as our headquarters hotel for the new convention center is an exciting game changer for Oklahoma City in the meetings industry,” said Michael J. Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The ability to promote a package that includes Omni and SMG as our partners in this new complex will make a strong statement to planners that they should be coming to OKC instead of going elsewhere to hold their meetings and events.”

Oklahoma City’s current convention center, the Cox Convention Center, is only able to compete for 50 percent of meetings due to the lack of a headquarters hotel. With the new convention center and the approved headquarters hotel, both scheduled to be complete in 2020, Oklahoma City will be able to compete for 80 percent or more of those meetings.

“We can’t underestimate the impact that our growing hospitality industry has on the Oklahoma City economy, which currently has an economic impact of $2 billion,” said Roy H. Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “We can expect the development of our new convention center and headquarters hotel to multiply that impact.”

The hotel project alone is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs and more than $370 million in economic activity, and according to Omni’s estimates, the hotel will generate $51 million in nightly stays and food and beverage revenues each year. HVS, a global hospitality industry consultant group, estimates in a study commissioned by the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City that the hotel will help the new convention center draw more events and out-of-town attendees than it would without the hotel, boosting spending from $62 million per year to $137 million per year.

About the agreement

The City of Oklahoma City and Omni have been in negotiations since Sept. 27, when Omni’s proposal was chosen because of the greater developer contribution and lower public participation costs. The agreement calls for a $150.1 million commitment from Omni and an $85.4 million commitment from the City. The agreement does not raise taxes.

The City’s 36 percent share of the development cost is one of the lowest in the country for recent convention center hotel deals. It compares favorably to five deals in similar cities, which have public participation ranging from 32 percent to 61 percent.

The Council’s approved funding plan uses 10 sources and a revenue stabilization fund to spread out and minimize financial risk. The City will sell municipal bonds to fund its share

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