A half a dozen new hotels in
the Queen City could add 30% more available rooms to downtown
According to Julie Calvert
with the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau, until the 21c Museum
Hotel came along, downtown had not welcomed a new hotel since 1984. Now, over a thousand new rooms could soon be just a reservation away.
The Cincinnati USA Convention
and Visitors Bureau works year round to help fill Cincinnati hotels. The
latest numbers though May show a 55.3% occupancy rate downtown. Because
that number is an average, Calvert says some hotels experience much higher
"The more supply you put in
the market, the more we need to work together, and closely with our hotels with
convention planners to create that demand for these hotels," she told FOX19.
Currently there are about
3,000 rooms downtown Cincinnati. The new hotels planned throughout downtown, including in the Enquirer
building and the old SCPA
space, would add 1,040 more rooms.
"Just because a new hotel
opens doesn't means another hotel has to suffer," Calvert argued. "All boats
will rise because we have the right strategies, the right groups in town, the
right marketing strategies to make sure everybody's full."
"I'd much rather have the
problem, if it's a problem, going on today than five or ten years ago,"
Garfield Suites Hotel GM Gary Wachs told FOX19. "It's a much better opportunity
today than it used to be."
A lifelong Cincinnatian,
Wachs says he has never before seen the kind of growth that has been happening
"The pie is bigger so we're
all sharing in that pie," he said. "It's just going to get bigger and better."
Wachs says more hotels raises
the bar for the ones already here, which translates to renovations.
"We have plans to do that
anyway but there's no question it does," he told FOX19.
While he says in a free
market some businesses will succeed and others will fail, Jeff Rexhausen at the
UC Economic Center says when it comes to subsidies it is important to be
critical of each individual project being considered.
"What we want to make sure of
if we're talking about a subsidy is that we are not causing other businesses to
fail unnecessarily," he said.
Rexhausen says to some degree
supply can be used generate demand, however.
"If in fact we can get more
convention business by increasing our supply of hotel rooms and that makes it a
better argument for the Convention and Visitors Bureau to make then the
existing hotels are going to benefit from that along with the new ones," he
Rexhausen says it is not
necessarily the number of hotels that dictates market saturation, but says
location and type must also be taken into consideration.
Calvert tells FOX19
Cincinnati won the 2015 All-Star game with the number of rooms already