Patrick Tuohey

The Kansas City government has been slow to release documents pertaining to the convention hotel. Just recently they released a 2013 HVS report on a proposed 1,000-room convention hotel. Because city officials and the developer won't release documents in a timely fashion, we can't be sure if this is the report on which they based the assumptions for the current 800-room hotel under consideration. Two previous posts on the matter are here and here

Prior to releasing the 2013 report, the City sent me a 2010 HVS slideshow presentation on yet another proposed convention hotel deal, A copy of that document is available below. HVS considered the convention business that Kansas City bid on but lost from 2006 through 2009 (page 2). Based on the lost conventions it considered "winnable," HVS claimed that Kansas City would have gotten an additional 15 citywide conventions and just over 98,000 room nights if we had built a convention center hotel back then (page 3). 

According to VisitKC, Kansas City's convention and visitor's bureau, the city hosted 19 citywide conventions in 2014, 15 in 2013, 21 in 2012, 17 in 2011, and 20 in 2010. Is it reasonable that a city that hosts between 15 and 20 citywide conventions annually will jump to hosting 35 per year solely by building a new hotel? That's roughly a 100% increase. Furthermore, is it reasonable to conclude that the convention hotel will have a 68% occupancy rate without negatively impacting the existing hotels?

Convention hotel consultants have been notoriously wrong about the Kansas City market. No wonder the developer doesn't want to share the data. Let's hope that the current City Council demands a complete accounting before moving forward with taxpayer funds.

About the Author

Patrick Tuohey
Patrick Tuohey
Senior Fellow of Municipal Policy

Patrick Tuohey works with taxpayers, media, and policymakers to foster understanding of the conse