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Updated: 04/24/2013 10:56 PM
Created: 04/24/2013 8:50 PM | Print |  Email
By: Nick Winkler

Huge, New Downtown Mpls. Hotel May Require Subsidies

The debate over whether to build a 1,000-room hotel near the Minneapolis Convention Center is heating up after a funding shortfall was identified in a study undertaken by Meet Minneapolis, the city's Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

The hotel would cost an estimated $304.5 million. However, the study says backers would have to find an additional $124.7 million. The study makes clear that the project would require "public participation."

Backers say the city is losing convention and event business to cities with more hotel rooms near their convention centers. They argue a large hotel would allow the city to attract conventions and meetings that are now choosing cities like Denver, Indianapolis and Austin.

However, downtown hotel owners say adding 1,000 rooms would create a glut that'd take five years from which to recover. They argue occupancy and room rates would fall, as well as a subsidized hotel would take business from them.

The concept is just an idea right now. A task force has been assembled and will eventually make a final recommendation that may or may not include a new hotel.

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