Wichita Falls Moves Forward With Convention Hotel

Wichita Falls Moves Forward With Convention Hotel

New jobs, lodging and ultimately more money may be heading to Wichita Falls. City Officials are considering building a new full service convention hotel in the city, and right now the first step is underway.

Wichita Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau has sent off an official request for proposal. The proposal is for a feasibility study to be conducted within the city.

The study would be conducted by an outside group, that would eventually decide if the convention hotel would be a good investment for the city. They would look at things like locations, how big the hotel would be, what amenities would be included, and how they would deal with the ongoing drought.

Although there are a lot of factors to consider some city officials say it's a good move for the city.

"It just allows you to be more competitive to go after these conventions, you know they're typically looking for a full service hotel," said Lindsay Greer, Director of Wichita Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Greer said Wichita Falls has a lot to offer  when it comes to large convention space. However, because of the lack of a full service hotel Wichita Falls can't even qualify to bid on big conventions.

That's something she said not only limits future opportunities, but also restricts the amount of money coming into the city.

"You know we've not really put any true hard numbers for it, but we could pull thousands of potential businesses that we could have bid on to come to Wichita Falls," said Greer.  "But a lot of them require that full service convention hotel for us to even get to the bidding process."

Greer said the city used to have convention type hotels, and she said during that time they were able to host more conventions, and that meant more money and business. However, along with a new hotel will come more demand for city water.

"That will be one of the first things that we discuss with them, you know with the water restrictions that are in place," said Greer.  "Obviously we have to work with them from a city stand point on how to reduce water use."

Although an important factor, Greer said the drought would not play a major role in the ultimate decision. But other factors, such as funding, will be a key topic.

"There's no doubt that it's going to cost," said Greer. "There's going to have to be more incentives in place, but we will get that return."

Now it's only in the beginning stages, but city officials say they're hoping to move on to the next step of the process by mid to late December.

, Newschannel 6