Palm Beach County took a big step towards adding a much-needed hotel to its convention center this week.
On Tuesday, the southeastern Florida county's Board of County Commissioners approved a $27 million subsidy to build a 400-room Hilton Hotel with a direct connection to the 350,000 square foot Palm Beach County Convention Center
. The hotel will be on the north side of the convention center, with a new parking garage to the south, according to the current plan.
“A new Convention Center hotel will finally complete the package we need to elevate Palm Beach County’s image as a group, meetings, and conventions destination,” said Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) after the vote. “It has an enormous potential to bring in new business to our destination and we couldn’t be more pleased to see the project supported by so many of our community leaders.”
The CVB estimates that the lack of an on-site headquarters hotel has cost the convention center — and the county — 110,000 room nights and 120,000 attendees.
A new hotel at the convention center would be the final piece needed to finish the region’s Convention and Entertainment District, which includes the seven-year-old convention center, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Harriet Himmel Theater, and the CityPlace entertainment, dining, and shopping venue.
In addition to the county money, Related Companies, the developer of the CityPlace complex, will invest $65.7 million to build the new hotel. “Related is thrilled to have been selected as the developer of the convention center hotel in Palm Beach County
and to continue to realize the CityPlace master plan,” said Stephen Ross, chairman and CEO of Related Companies, in a statement after the vote. “There is no doubt that the hotel is a lynchpin to the success of the county’s very significant investment in the convention center and will be a powerful tourism attractor and key amenity.”