In 2012, Columbus to Welcome New Convention Headquarters Hotel

Downtown Columbus, Ohio, will soon get something that it's long needed, according to Experience Columbus, the city's convention and visitors bureau: a new full-service convention center hotel adjacent to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Scheduled for completion in 2012, the new convention headquarters hotel will have 500 rooms and 30,650 square feet of meeting space at a cost of $160 million.

"A new full-service convention hotel will support Franklin County and the City of Columbus' current investment in our convention facilities," Experience Columbus President and CEO Paul Astleford said in a statement. "Besides giving us the opportunity to expand our local, regional and national convention reach, it will also help us to retain annual business that is outgrowing our community, while also offering multiple headquarter hotel opportunities to more than one convention or tradeshow at the same time."

Although the 1.7 million-square-foot Greater Columbus Convention Center has room to accommodate more and larger events, it's failing to attract them, according to local officials, due to a lack of sufficient hotel inventory.

"Currently, Columbus can accommodate only 65 percent of our target market's minimum headquarter hotel room requirements," said Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority Executive Director Bill Jennison. "A new 500-room convention hotel will enable the Greater Columbus Convention Center to compete for 92 percent of our target market and increase utilization of the facility."

According to Jennison, large regional and national events require between 1,000 and 3,500 peak room night blocks; currently, Columbus offers a total inventory of approximately 3,200 rooms downtown.

The new hotel will also help the local economy, added Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman. "This expansion creates jobs not only for those who build the hotel and eventually work at this hotel," he said, "but also for those working at our restaurants, our nightspots, our sports and entertainment venues, and the hotels we already have."