Kansas Tax District to Fund Hotel Renovations in Wichita

The Wichita City Council has voted to establish a special Community Improvement District at the historic Broadview Hotel in Wichita, Kan., allowing the hotel to charge an extra 2 percent sales tax that will help it pay for renovations currently in progress, local newspaper The Wichita Eagle reported last week.

The hotel's owner, Drury Southwest, estimates that the extra sales tax will raise about $2.7 million during its 22-year lifespan. The additional funds are necessary, it argues, because the project will cost more than originally planned — $22.8 million now, versus $20 million a few months ago — due to unforeseen problems with the building, which dates back to 1922, as well as changes in the project's scope.

"I think it's clear that without some incentives we'd have another vacant hotel downtown, which is not a neutral, it's a negative," city council member Janet Miller told the Eagle.

Closed since April, when the renovations began, the Broadview Hotel is scheduled to reopen in spring 2011 as the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview. The restored hotel will have a new restaurant, fitness center and swimming pool, as well as a new sky bridge connecting the hotel to its parking garage.