KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City's mayor said he hopes a hotel boom that's happening in the area will make the city an appealing candidate to host big events.
Visit KC estimates more than 15 hotels are opening in the area by the end of the 2020, the Kansas City Star reported. The area has seen one to three hotels open each year since 2012, according to data from Visit KC.
Five properties have opened or will open this year. The extended-stay hotels, boutiques and high-end facilities will add more than 450 rooms in the area.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James hopes the expanded accommodation options will help the city land conventions and tournaments that could bring out-of-town spending into the local economy.
The city was considered to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, but was ultimately eliminated from the running because of a lack of rooms, James said.
One new option being constructed is the $325 million Loews Kansas City Hotel, which will act as a downtown convention hotel with 800 rooms once it opens in two years.
The area's lack of high-end hotels and the city's vibrant downtown drew Loews Hotels & Co. to the project, said Alex Tisch, chief commercial and development officer for the company.
"What Kansas City has to offer is a lot of local culture that's been really diluted out of a lot of other cities as a result of too much development," Tisch said.
The effort to get a convention hotel helped spur the hotel interest, said Mike Burke, a consultant with KC Hotel Developers, LLC, who worked on the convention hotel project.
"I think the convention hotel announcement was a catalyst to other investors that Kansas City was under-served and that we had a great market that was going to expand," Burke said.