More talk of new downtown hotel

Kansas City has invested many millions in its downtown, but its hotel space is inadequate and as tired as a 1960s house, the mayor said Thursday.

“We need a hotel that has been built since 1985,” he said at a council business session.

“If we’re going to compete with the big boys” he said, “we need to be the big boys, too.”

The matter came up after Ronnie Burt, director of Visit KC, reported they did not push to get conventions that book 3,000 rooms a night because they could not compete with other cities.

Councilman John Sharp said that a recent trip to Austin found that city had far more 1st class hotel rooms within walking distance of its convention center.

“I’m optimistic we will get to that point one day,” Burt said.

James said the city is working toward a major downtown hotel.

“We will not pull that trigger until we get a deal for Kansas City that makes sense,” he said, but he believes it is getting close.

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