Friday, June 27, 2014

What the Republican National Convention would do for N. Texas hotels

If the RNC chooses Dallas, it would need about 16,000
hotel rooms to accommodate esteemed guests.

If Dallas beats Cleveland in the race to land the Republican National Convention, the event would mean big bucks for the North Texas hotel industry.

The RNC would need about 16,000 hotel rooms to accommodate its guests.

“We can handle it,” said Cecile Fernandez, executive director of the Hotel Association of North Texas. “We’ve hosted these large-scale events before, and we can do it again.”

Currently, there are about 75,000 hotel rooms in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to the association, 5,000 of which are concentrated in downtown Dallas.

Seventy percent of the needed rooms are with two miles of the American Airlines Center and 80 percent are within 15 minutes, Fernandez said.

This wouldn’t be North Texas’ first time hosting a major national event. It hosted the NBA Finals in 2011 and 2006, and Super Bowl XLV in 2011. Dallas hosted the GOP convention in 1984.

The Dallas, Plano and Irving areas, alone, generate $10.2 billion in travel spending in annual revenue, without a major national event. During the 2011, when DFW hosted the NBA Finals, the area generated $10.6 billion.

In 2013, it hosted 31 citywide conventions and drew more than 50,000 guests to events including the Christian celebration MegaFest and Mary Kay’s annual convention. It drew 100,000 guests during the USA Volleyball Girls’ National Championships.

As far as how much money the RNC could generate for hotels is yet to be determined, as rates across the brands vary. But what is known is that 85 percent of the 16,000 rooms needed are at hotels that have a Three-Diamond rating. Twenty-one hotels within the proposed area have a Four- to Five-Diamond rating.

Danielle Abril-Dallas Business Journal