Civic Leaders to Seek Proposals for New Convention Center Hotel

Posted on April 29, 2019 by kdriscoll

RFP Process for Potential New Hotel at 5th & Plum to Begin Immediately

CINCINNATI (April 29, 2019) – Leaders from Hamilton County, the City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), The Port and Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) gathered earlier today to formally announce that they would jointly send out a request for proposals for the development of a new, upscale Convention Center Hotel to be built at the site of the 5th & Plum Parking Lot. 3CDC will lead the search for a hotel developer, working in conjunction with The Port and CVB, and with the support of County and City leaders.

Both public and private entities have long believed the development of a new, upscale convention Center Hotel is essential to boost convention attendance and generate new revenue for the region. According to CVB, a major factor in lost convention business has been the lack of a first-class Convention Center Hotel. A project that has been at least a decade in the making, the call for proposals is the first positive step in the process to develop a new Convention Center Hotel.

“When the county held public hearings to determine our top capital project priorities, we listened,” Commission President Denise Driehaus said. “The need for a top-notch convention center hotel rose to the top of the list. That’s why we are working aggressively to get a new hotel built.”

To assess the current hotel market, 3CDC, CVB and The Port commissioned a study – conducted by HVS, a global hospitality consulting firm and an expert in the area. The results concluded that the market could support the addition of a new upper-scale, full-service Convention Center Hotel. In addition to bringing new convention and meeting business to Cincinnati, a new Convention Center Hotel would create temporary jobs during construction and permanent jobs once the hotel opens.

“Cincinnati is a world-class city and we deserve a world-class hotel,” Mayor John Cranley said.

According to the HVS study, the market can support a Convention Center Hotel with a minimum of 600 rooms, along with 40,000-60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a 12,000-20,000-square-foot ballroom. The potential hotel site, which is owned by The Port, is 82,000 square feet and is located south of the Duke Energy Convention Center, on 5th Street, leaving open the possibility for the Convention Center to expand in multiple directions in the future.

In the coming months, 3CDC, The Port, and CVB will work with HVS to identify a developer and negotiate a financial package.