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Thread: Omni Hotel

  1. #76

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    If it actually was really doable... keep in mind, there's no assurance they wouldn't have needed public financing as well.
    Exactly. I talked with a national hotel developer a few years ago with several CC projects under their belt. He articulated to me how the finances work on such a deal including debt financing, construction costs and room rates, etc. He indicated it was impossible for any developer to do this deal without some level of public monies. Period. The economy is different now, but I suspect the financing facts are not too different from then as far as hotels go. He had indicated back then a 100% developer financed deal was impossible and there would be zero responses if the city sought that out.

  2. #77

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    The Journal Record adds its editorial voice to the cacophony of people calling out Ed Shadid on the betrayal of his campaign promises.

    Editorial: MAPS to success | The Journal Record

  3. #78

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Does anyone think that E. Shadid is doing this to take the heat off his personal stuff that's been going on?

  4. #79

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Solely? No. But the timing does seem to make it an reasonable question for any voter or interested observer to ponder.

  5. #80

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Here's the spot for this:

    Quote Originally Posted by mkjeeves View Post
    Haywood Sanders mops the floor with the Stone report at 26:30 in the video.




  6. Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Betts, thanks for reposting the video.

    I noticed at roughly the 35 minute mark in the slide, in 2019-20 when the speaker says the C.C. is scheduled to be open demand jumps 12% to 14% impressive sounding except a far cry from what the Chamber's previously promised 3-fold or 300% increase. Couldn't help but also notice that after that, in 2021 & 22, the increase drops to only 2% and 0%.

    I didn't watch the complete video (started at the 26 mark and had to stop at the 50 min mark), but to be fair, the numbers he presented for the missed projections were for markets much larger than ours and Tier I level (rather than Tier II which is where we are trying to get). So the question remains does the same trend exist in markets our size?

  7. Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Oklahoma County had 2 billion in tourism last year. Most of that was in OKC.

  8. #83

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    I've been trying to find other presentations Heywood Sanders has given and am coming up without much. However, he's as busy as the convention hotel consultants. They say you need it, he says you don't. While he says he's never heard a consultant say a city doesn't need a convention center hotel, I can't find one instance where he says you need one.....or a new convention center. It would be refreshing to see either either side of this argument actually find one instance where their usual recommendation is not applicable.

    In Tucson:

    "Sanders gave a 30-minute presentation saying convention centers have been overbuilt nationally, with their supply far outstripping demand.

    Because of this, convention hotels have to resort to offering steep discounts on third-party sites such as Priceline and Expedia as a way to stay full, Sanders said.

    He produced receipts showing he stayed at convention-center hotels in Houston and St. Louis for $50 to $56 a night during midweek. In Phoenix, he stayed at the Hyatt for only $42 a night midweek, he said."


    Sound familiar?

    He does not say what month he got these prices, nor what year. For example, I would not stay in Phoenix in July or August for any price. But, I did a bit of checking.

    To stay at the Phoenix convention center hotel on a Wednesday in February of this year, Pricline's lowest price is $217 and the highest $274.

    To stay at the Houston convention center hotel on a weeknight in April, prices start at $93. Houston is the city whose convention center debt was paid off the first year. They're actually building a second hotel.

    St. Louis convention center hotel went bankrupt.....in 2008. Recognize that year?

    I posted hotel rates elsewhere for convention center hotels for Denver and Charlotte that Priceline had listed at a minimum of $150, with some rooms as high as $275.

    As I said elsewhere, hotel rooms are like airline seats. One person may get a very good price on an airline ticket. Does that mean every other person in the airplane paid what the person with the lowest price seat paid? Unlikely. There are people in first class, and higher priced seats. Even Southwest has three different price ranges for seats.

    Someone who uses Priceline's "Name your own price" option is likely not paying the same price as every other person in the hotel. Hotels can greatly discount some rooms that are unbooked at the last minute or that are available on the off season. But someone in the hotel is likely paying for your discount by paying the highest rate.

    So, Heywood Sanders is using misleading information to make his point. He is implying that convention center hotels are all forced to rent all their rooms at a massive discount. Why? Why not just use the truth to make your point? It certainly raises the question of whether he can prove his point using the truth. Isn't this similar to what he is accusing the convention hotel consultants of doing - using flawed data to make a point? So just maybe the truth is somewhere in between and people should be careful who they listen to.

  9. #84

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by betts View Post
    I've been trying to find other presentations Heywood Sanders has given and am coming up without much. However, he's as busy as the convention hotel consultants. They say you need it, he says you don't. While he says he's never heard a consultant say a city doesn't need a convention center hotel, I can't find one instance where he says you need one.....or a new convention center. It would be refreshing to see either either side of this argument actually find one instance where their usual recommendation is not applicable.

    In Tucson:

    "Sanders gave a 30-minute presentation saying convention centers have been overbuilt nationally, with their supply far outstripping demand.

    Because of this, convention hotels have to resort to offering steep discounts on third-party sites such as Priceline and Expedia as a way to stay full, Sanders said.

    He produced receipts showing he stayed at convention-center hotels in Houston and St. Louis for $50 to $56 a night during midweek. In Phoenix, he stayed at the Hyatt for only $42 a night midweek, he said."


    Sound familiar?

    He does not say what month he got these prices, nor what year. For example, I would not stay in Phoenix in July or August for any price. But, I did a bit of checking.

    To stay at the Phoenix convention center hotel on a Wednesday in February of this year, Pricline's lowest price is $217 and the highest $274.

    To stay at the Houston convention center hotel on a weeknight in April, prices start at $93. Houston is the city whose convention center debt was paid off the first year. They're actually building a second hotel.

    St. Louis convention center hotel went bankrupt.....in 2008. Recognize that year?

    I posted hotel rates elsewhere for convention center hotels for Denver and Charlotte that Priceline had listed at a minimum of $150, with some rooms as high as $275.

    As I said elsewhere, hotel rooms are like airline seats. One person may get a very good price on an airline ticket. Does that mean every other person in the airplane paid what the person with the lowest price seat paid? Unlikely. There are people in first class, and higher priced seats. Even Southwest has three different price ranges for seats.

    Someone who uses Priceline's "Name your own price" option is likely not paying the same price as every other person in the hotel. Hotels can greatly discount some rooms that are unbooked at the last minute or that are available on the off season. But someone in the hotel is likely paying for your discount by paying the highest rate.

    So, Heywood Sanders is using misleading information to make his point. He is implying that convention center hotels are all forced to rent all their rooms at a massive discount. Why? Why not just use the truth to make your point? It certainly raises the question of whether he can prove his point using the truth. Isn't this similar to what he is accusing the convention hotel consultants of doing - using flawed data to make a point? So just maybe the truth is somewhere in between and people should be careful who they listen to.
    To expand on your point about airline fares, generally there are up to 15-20 different fares an airline will quote for the same flight. They are called fare buckets, when the bucket is empty for that fare, the next price will be displayed. As the flight fills up, the cheap buckets disappear quite rapidly, with a remaining stock of higher priced fares. Hotels work the exact same way. Price is determined by availability at the time of the search relative to the time you use the product,

  10. #85

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    If we are going to build a convention center, let's build something designed to attract Tier II type events which brings in out-of-state money.

    High school graduations, proms and local business meetings are great; money being redistributed into our local economy is good because we keep the tax dollars here; however, new money being pumped into our economy perpetuates growth.

    1. A convention center is a long-term investment which doesn't always pay for itself as a stand alone facility.
    2. We need do determine what kind of convention city we want to become.
    3. A hotel chain anchor will be needed to grow conventions.
    4. Build facilities (Convention center/Hotel complex) to attract events we're capable of handling.
    5. Management: SMG does give you a broad spectrum to access conventions.

    Conventions can often become a city's best advertising & marketing tool which could lead to other economic development; these are the invisible elements which impact a city moving forward.

    We are well equipped through Fair Park to handle a number of trade shows and other gatherings; therefore we don't need to build something that's going to be in direct competition of something we already have.

    As a city on the verge, there are risks associated with growth. Do we become stagnant or do we move forward while we have the resources and the momentum?

    Dallas is a pattern which could provide ideas moving forward.

    Dallas Convention Center: Dallas Convention Center - Dallas, Texas Convention Center | Cvent Supplier Network

    "Oklahoma City looks oh-so pretty... ... as I get my kicks on Route 66." --Nat King Cole.

  11. #86

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Whatever credibility Sanders has or does not have, the Priceline cheap room example is just silly. Selling off some product, not otherwise likely to sell on that day, is pure profit, not a loss.
    If someone does not book a room at Priceline or cut a deal at the counter, that room may sit empty that particular night, and those dollars are gone for good once the cock crows.

    It no more means folks can book at rock bottom prices en mass than Walmart sells burger meat or steaks at the same price on day 1 of cutting as they do on last 12 hours before discarding.
    Those who time it right get a bargain. Others pay regular price.

    So one might wonder, who is bs-ing whom if the sthick is based on the fringe outliers and not the norm.

  12. #87

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinpate View Post
    Whatever credibility Sanders has or does not have, the Priceline cheap room example is just silly. Selling off some product, not otherwise likely to sell on that day, is pure profit, not a loss.
    If someone does not book a room at Priceline or cut a deal at the counter, that room may sit empty that particular night, and those dollars are gone for good once the cock crows.

    It no more means folks can book at rock bottom prices en mass than Walmart sells burger meat or steaks at the same price on day 1 of cutting as they do on last 12 hours before discarding.
    Those who time it right get a bargain. Others pay regular price.

    So one might wonder, who is bs-ing whom if the sthick is based on the fringe outliers and not the norm.
    That's what I'm thinking. Stick with the truth and no one can ever prove you wrong.

  13. #88

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Hotels work the exact same way. Price is determined by availability at the time of the search relative to the time you use the product,
    That is true to some extent but, for convention hotels, the conventions normally have negotiated rates that stay the same until they are sold out. You then have to book whatever regular rates are available providing the hotels aren't sold out. It often happens that if you try to book a convention hotel through normal channels it shows sold out even if you can book rooms through a housing bureau.

  14. #89

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    That is true to some extent but, for convention hotels, the conventions normally have negotiated rates that stay the same until they are sold out. You then have to book whatever regular rates are available providing the hotels aren't sold out. It often happens that if you try to book a convention hotel through normal channels it shows sold out even if you can book rooms through a housing bureau.
    Right. Was making the point that, his search results weren't scientific if he was using them for something that is considered "academic". If he wrote a science textbook, and it happened to rain on the only day he collected data, he'd write that all cloudy days made rain. Using Expedia and Orbitz.com to form the conclusion of a hotel's profitability is juvenile.

  15. #90

    Default Re: Convention Hotel


  16. #91

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    First let me say that Sanders is very good and presents a very good case, with numbers no more cherry picked than CSL's. the difference is that Sanders cherry picks his numbers whereas CSL very clearly pulls them out of thin air and then extrapolates them using trends that are false premises. It's scary stuff with which to justify a $250 million investment.

    However the trick is in focusing on how much convention business we stand to lose if we don't build a CC and attached hotel. What's important is to get away from this phony promise of tripling our business and focus on a real chance to maintain a respectable presence in the convention industry. That's better than watching it slip away from us.

    I'm personally not so much against the CC as I am against the lies spewing out of the city during this whole maps process. The trick for us to be successful in shaping this project to HELP and not HURT is getting caught up in details for once and not personalities.

  17. #92

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    First let me say that Sanders is very good and presents a very good case, with numbers no more cherry picked than CSL's. the difference is that Sanders cherry picks his numbers whereas CSL very clearly pulls them out of thin air and then extrapolates them using trends that are false premises. It's scary stuff with which to justify a $250 million investment.

    However the trick is in focusing on how much convention business we stand to lose if we don't build a CC and attached hotel. What's important is to get away from this phony promise of tripling our business and focus on a real chance to maintain a respectable presence in the convention industry. That's better than watching it slip away from us.

    I'm personally not so much against the CC as I am against the lies spewing out of the city during this whole maps process. The trick for us to be successful in shaping this project to HELP and not HURT is getting caught up in details for once and not personalities.
    I agree. Clearly the city was using some pie-in-the-sky numbers to justify the convention center. Why? Why not just say the convention center will allow OKC to host bigger and better conventions, and will allow us to keep up with / stay ahead of cities that we no longer regard as peer cities?

    I think it's actually fairly hard to make a case that OKC does not need an adequate convention center. There's no reason for the city to overstate the impact the convention center will have.

  18. #93

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    However the trick is in focusing on how much convention business we stand to lose if we don't build a CC and attached hotel. What's important is to get away from this phony promise of tripling our business and focus on a real chance to maintain a respectable presence in the convention industry. That's better than watching it slip away from us.

    I'm personally not so much against the CC as I am against the lies spewing out of the city during this whole maps process. The trick for us to be successful in shaping this project to HELP and not HURT is getting caught up in details for once and not personalities.
    First of all, Sanders is a showman. He too talks a good game but he's lazy. He finds enough data to support his claims, but he generalizes and his beliefs are based on a very clear bias I've found in his papers.

    Having spent a bunch of time researching this, I can tell you that the "lies" spewed here are pretty much comparable to those spewed by every city. And, having gone to a bunch of these meetings and presentations, I don't think the city is deliberately spewing lies. I think consultants are exaggerating and the figures they produce sound so good that people want to believe them. When you want to believe something and you're not in the habit of thinking critically, then you're going to swallow all their numbers. No one is being malicious here. The Chamber really has no reason to want the city to spend $250 million on a building that doesn't help the city, nor do city officials. Where Sanders is really wrong is when he gets political and tries to imply that all downtown development occurs because a few rich people want to keep their property values up. That's a lie as well. He's making very gross generalizations likely based on his experience in one city or his worldview.

    Does anyone truly think most of the people involved in city government and the Chamber don't love Oklahoma City and want to see it succeed? I don't and unlike most of the fear mongers talking about the "plutocrats", I've taken the time to go to these meetings and really listened to people. They absolutely want the best for OKC. Do we all differ sometimes in what we think is the best? Definitely.

    But, if they publish figures that can be refuted or at least the refutation is believable to people, then they risk losing something that I agree the city needs. That's why I think they should sell civic pride. Look how much economic development has occurred as a result of that civic pride and our willingness to improve our city. Maybe we'll increase our business by a third. That would not be a bad thing. I suspect that Sanders is at least partially wrong. He's certainly made some assumptions about OKC as a destination that can be fixed with better promotion of our city as it improves. I'm not done researching, but I think a lot of these convention centers are financed, not pre-paid. That makes a big difference in costs. So, OKC, drop the hyperbole and sell civic pride. By so doing you pull the rug out from the Shadids of the world and their "plutocrat paranoia".

  19. #94

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    When we stop chasing the fraudulent numbers, it sounds like we need for ourselves, our civic pride and to meet reality, a convention center maybe 125% the size we have now with the extra space built only out of optimism. Lets do that and put $100 million somewhere else that makes more sense.

    I can't think of a reason in the world why we would support any public subsidy of any kind for a convention center hotel. We can encourage it but it should be 100% private.

  20. #95

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    (duplicate)

  21. #96

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by mkjeeves View Post
    When we stop chasing the fraudulent numbers, it sounds like we need for ourselves, our civic pride and to meet reality, a convention center maybe 125% the size we have now with the extra space built only out of optimism. Lets do that and put $100 million somewhere else that makes more sense.

    I can't think of a reason in the world why we would support any public subsidy of any kind for a convention center hotel. We can encourage it but it should be 100% private.
    To be honest, I'd rather spend the $250 million and, if we really don't need as much space (and I don't know that - how much space do most conventions we could attract need?) build a show stopper. My concern was always that the space chosen needs a stunning building because of its location. If we're building it for civic pride and community need, let's see if we can build something that ends up in an architecture magazine or at least is admired by anyone who sees it or the brochures.

    As far as a hotel is concerned, I think we should NOT borrow money to build it unless they make it a votable bond issue. If they can get a really nice hotel chain to build a hotel with a reasonable subsidy and we still need hotel rooms downtown then I'm fine with it.

  22. #97

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    No subsidy of any kind on a hotel. There's no evident reason to do that. If we need it, the private sector can step up. We've already spent millions to attract business and redevelop downtown. Let that money do the work we were told it would do.

    As far as CC numbers be damned and spend it all anyway on a bauble, I'd rather take another look at rehabbing the Cox center than do that. Put the rest back in the taxpayers pocket and for something else we need. Maps for Suburbs would be a good place. Buying (another) $1000 doormat for a house with the back porch falling off is irresponsible.

    That spend it while we have it attitude reminds me of a sign my father used to have on his office wall, "Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anyone. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on someone."

    Calvin Coolidge

  23. #98

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Eeew. I'm not sure the Cox can be rehabbed appropriately for any price. I'd rather see the Cox torn down and the land sold. Actually, if we wouldn't lose the meeting space for 3 years, I'd like to see the Cox torn down and us build a CC that goes up on half of it. We could give the other half of the land as our subsidy for a hotel and open up Broadway again. That would be my first choice.

  24. #99

    Default Re: Convention Hotel

    Quote Originally Posted by mkjeeves View Post
    No subsidy of any kind on a hotel. There's no evident reason to do that. If we need it, the private sector can step up. We've already spent millions to attract business and redevelop downtown. Let that money do the work we were told it would do.

    As far as CC numbers be damned and spend it all anyway on a bauble, I'd rather take another look at rehabbing the Cox center than do that. Put the rest back in the taxpayers pocket and for something else we need. Maps for Suburbs would be a good place. Buying (another) $1000 doormat for a house with the back porch falling off is irresponsible.

    That spend it while we have it attitude reminds me of a sign my father used to have on his office wall, "Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anyone. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on someone."

    Calvin Coolidge
    The People already voted to 1) Spend their money. 2) They wanted a new Convention Center. 3) We are going to get a new CC.

    We voted to go outside the standard ( trust gov w/ our money ) , we started MAPS and now we are going to get what we all previously ( through a city wide vote) decided on. The People are fine with this process. We ready to spend the money we decided on this CC.

    The Hotel is a seperate conversation, and we could certainly use a ( Hyatt Type ) hotel for our guest. 40+ stories would be fine w/ me.

  25. Default Re: Convention Hotel

    There are actually strategic reasons for the hotel to have some public investment, which have not been discussed much publicly. They specifically go to the ability to book events at the convention center. One current problem has to do with the high occupancy AND 100% private ownership of downtown hotels; the CVB has a difficult time offering large blocks of contiguous rooms and deep discounts, which are standard when pursuing conventions.

    Currently occupancy runs very high - 80% plus nightly - which is extraordinarily high in that industry, and hotels can get close to rack rate nearly every night without expending much effort. Additionally, the current agreement the City has with JQH/Renaissance at times places them into a weird competitive position on meeting space rental.

    Right now we are actually a surprisingly appealing conference/convention destination (and have been for more than a decade) despite what some posters - even pro-CC posters - think. This is due primarily to our central location AND our walkable proximity to hotels and appealing dining and entertainment options. I personally see CVB-hosted site visits very regularly, and speak with convention planners, who are generally blown away by what they find here. Attractions, shopping or lack thereof really have little to do with bookings, despite conversations I see on here.

    The LOCATION of the Cox Center sells this city as a convention destination, and the CVB has for years been competing on events that it really should have not been able to compete on with such an inadequate facility. It's one of the reasons the SITE of the new center is more important than perhaps any other MAPS 3 project; what makes us competitive is how walkable we are as a convention location (ironic for OKC). Where we normally end up losing is on our inability to procure adequate rooms at deeply-discounted convention rates.

    If the City has at least SOME investment or ownership position in the new hotel, they can dictate some of the terms in circumstances like these, and our convention bookings WILL improve dramatically. In other words, City involvement is DESIRABLE. You can believe me or not, but understand that I work very closely with CVB staff and talk with at least one or two people a week there, and have for more than a dozen years.

    The convention center itself - combined with the need to set it up for success rather than failure - is not a pet project of some rich guy (which by the way is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard on here). It is a critical component of a successful city and especially a successful downtown. It isn't sexy or fun to talk/think about, and it doesn't SEEM to most people that it will affect their lives one way or another, but it IS important.

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