The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 May 2005

What the traffic will bear

And some days, the bear eats you. From OKCBusiness:

Despite being one of the three cities considered for the nation's seventh largest convention — the American Legion National Convention — Oklahoma City lost the bid this week to host the event because of the room charges of its downtown hotels.

David Kellerman, the director of the American Legion's operations in Oklahoma, and Christine Wise, the marketing director of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, confirmed the city was told it lost the [2010] convention for one reason only.

So the Legionnaires will go to Milwaukee, because:

Kellerman said Milwaukee's average hotel rate was $99.

He said he advised Oklahoma City officials that the city's proposal needed to ensure the downtown hotels — specifically the Sheraton, the Courtyard by Marriott and the Renaissance — didn't include room rates above $107. However, the hotels refused to budge from rates ranging between $124 to $154 a night, he said and Wise confirmed.

Hotels in the Reno/Meridian area were more competitive, but they're five to seven miles from the convention center.

We can argue that okay, we're new at competing for top-tier events, we haven't figured out the fine points yet. But we can only play that card once.

(Via The Downtown Guy.)

Posted at 10:44 AM to City Scene


I'm an unabashed Milwaukee partisan, so pardon my enthusiasm, but the Milwaukee downtown area around the convention center is awesome. The center's connected directly by skywalk to the Hyatt and the Hilton nearby, and the near area also has several other hotels (Westin, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, Howard Johnsons, Courtyard) within a couple of blocks.

Better yet, the area also has the Bradley Center (Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Admirals hockey), the US Cellular Arena (Milwaukee Wave soccer), the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (Milwaukee Symphony and other things), the Pabst Theatre (several theatres with several concurrent productions running simultaneously), the Riverside Theatre, and lots of restaurants and newer night scenes within a few blocks.

Brotha, I would buy a loft in that area.

Posted by: Brian J. at 2:32 PM on 8 May 2005

And in addition to all that Good Stuff, they know how to play the game. We don't.

(Sounds like a heck of a nice place, though.)

Posted by: CGHill at 3:07 PM on 8 May 2005

What are your room taxes down there? IIRC, in Milwaukee, they run 21.5%.

Posted by: Brian J. at 6:56 PM on 8 May 2005

13.875 percent. (The city insists it's 5.5 percent, but the full sales tax is collected also.)

Posted by: CGHill at 7:19 PM on 8 May 2005

So you see what happens to the low room prices.

It's all hidden cost which goes to the city government and probably is spent on advertising for the city as an overnight travel destination--that is, to buy advertising for the hotels themselves.

Posted by: Brian J. at 7:07 AM on 9 May 2005

Well, we just nudged it up three and a half percent; most of the increase is earmarked for improving the local horse facilities, generally at State Fair Park. I figure half the promotion budget around here is wasted, though, as John Wanamaker famously observed, I have no idea which half.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:49 AM on 9 May 2005