City Officials Still Want Convention Center Hotel in Wilmington, N.C.

Just a month after terminating its contract with local hotel development and management company Wilmington River Group, the City Council in Wilmington, N.C., is looking at other options for building a headquarters hotel adjacent to the new Wilmington Convention Center that's under construction there.

According to local media reports, the Wilmington City Council pulled out of its agreement with Wilmington River Group—which proposed building a six-story, 150-plus-room Hotel Indigo next to the 120,000-square-foot convention center—when the company failed to meet several city-imposed deadlines for obtaining financing and purchasing property.

Despite the snag, however, the city still wants a convention center hotel, and is in the process of trying to get one.

"In marketing this convention center, we're going to be competing with cities who have full-service hotels near or on the site," City Council member Ron Sparks told local TV news station WWAY, "so to help us in our marketing effort, we need to go ahead and put that in."

Added City Council member Margaret Haynes, "We're going to have a more sophisticated type of program coming here, or convention coming here, if we can have a first-class hotel."

During the next few weeks, the Wilmington City Council must decide what kind of hotel it wants next to the convention center, what features that hotel must have, when it must be built and under what conditions.

According to local newspaper the Star News, the city originally had a deal with Virginia-based Armada Hoffler to build the convention center and a 254-room Marriott. That deal also fell apart, however, this time over a lawsuit settlement prohibiting one company from running both the hotel and the convention center.

If construction on a headquarters hotel doesn't begin this year, the Wilmington Convention Center will likely open in late 2010 without one.