Downtown Cowtown has plenty to offer: nightlife, entertainment, restaurants retail.
That’s what makes it a destination for 10 million people a year, says Mitch Whitten of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. What it doesn’t have is enough hotel rooms.
“There are weekends we sell out,” Whitten says.
“We've got 2,500 rooms in downtown, and we currently have a shortage of about 1,400 according to the CVB's recent market study,” adds Andy Taft, president of Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.
That translates into missed opportunity.
“We are actually turning down more than $200 million in convention business because we don't have enough rooms and convention space for them,” Whitten says.
The situation has been building for years. The last hotel built downtown was the Omni in 2009. Meantime, Fort Worth has grown by leaps and bounds.
Taft says that hotel shortage is finally shoring up.
“Hospitality construction happens in waves, and we are catching this wave at exactly the right time,” he says.
About 700 new hotel rooms are currently under construction in downtown Fort Worth within a handful of new hotels. That includes a new Aloft hotel on 3rd, a Marriott Autograph and a Hampton Inn and Suites which alone will add 245 rooms.
“And there are even more in the wings, kicking the tires downtown to see if they can find a location they like,” Taft says.
According to data from Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.’s “State of Downtown” report, last year, hotels downtown brought $107 million of revenue into the city.
“Almost every area in Forth Worth is currently in discussion about hotel growth,” Whitten says.
Giving people a place to stay, and hoping the opportunities stay, too.