Columbus Chooses Hilton for New Convention Hotel

The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority has awarded Hilton Worldwide the rights to operate a new $140 million convention center hotel in Columbus, Ohio, it announced this week. Hilton, one of several contenders vying for the project, beat out three other finalists, including Marriott, Starwood and White Lodging.

"After carefully analyzing all proposals on the table, we made the decision to go with Hilton Worldwide because the Hilton proposal was the best fit financially and programmatically for our project," Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority Executive Director Bill Jennison said in a statement.

Hilton wasn't only a good choice financially, according to Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Experience Columbus, Columbus' convention and visitors bureau. Because it's a globally recognized brand, it was also a good choice from a sales and marketing standpoint.

"With the addition of Hilton Worldwide, we are proud to be working with yet another world-class sales team to market and sell Columbus as a preferred convention, tradeshow and meeting destination," Astleford said in a statement. "The addition of this full-service convention hotel, combined with the Greater Columbus Convention Center, will allow us to compete for a larger share of our state, regional and national convention market."

Located adjacent to the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Nationwide Arena, the new headquarters hotel is expected to break ground in summer 2010 for a projected opening in fall 2012. Along with 500 guest rooms, it's expected to have 30,650 square feet of banquet and meeting space.