Downtown hotels


Baptist group was going to take 2nd floor of new Element hotel development for office space. Maybe they are leasing the land instead of selling?


The Marriott and Sheraton on Fayetteville are constantly sold out. I realize they aren’t necessarily “high-end”, but that certainly speaks for demand and they aren’t inexpensive.


Interesting. Might have killed the brand in the merger.


Let’s also consider the city’s reluctance to use incentives for new hotels. The convention center Marriott is the only exception, to the best of my knowledge, so maybe it’s time to lure new hotels to downtown rather than wait.

Durham certainly did with their boutique hotels that have opened in the last few years, FWIW.


How/what did Durham do to get their boutiques? I assume you mean Durham Hotel and 21C?


Yes. They had incentive money out there. Whether it was a MAJOR factor or not, not sure but it’s worth discussing.


If the demand is there, then I don’t understand why the hesitancy to build more hotels. I am not doubting your comment.
Frankly, I’d like to see more youthful brands downtown than luxury hotels. For example, I would have loved to have had ALoft in the city center instead of being by NC State.


People don’t stay at the Umstead just because it’s at the corner of 40 and Harrison. They stay there because it’s a beautiful upscale spa hotel and it’s really the only one in the area. There is no reason whatsoever that a nice enough hotel in downtown Raleigh couldn’t be equally as popular no matter what companies are downtown. Plenty of people would come just for the hotel and spa services. And the downtown location would be an extra incentive to stay there.


I personally hate incentives, especially to draw something like a hotel. Raleigh’s lack of hotels, and upscale hotels in particular, is due to the fundamentals of the market. The Triangle has several upscale hotels, but DTR obviously doesn’t. We don’t have a lot of high end business travel and we aren’t a tourist town. If we focus on growing the economy and building downtown as a business center, the higher end hotels will come on their own, without a need to subsidize for-profit businesses.

But, that’s also a statement of my values. I don’t think luxury hotels are that important, and I think COR’s money could be better spent elsewhere. And I’d rather Raleigh focus on growing its tech sector, which is in its wheelhouse, than try to morph into a tourist destination.


If that were the case Singapore wouldn’t be the travel destination it is. Government planned and approved projects is why Singapore is now one of the top world class cities.

I’m in Singapore right now and this whopper of a hotel/multi-function center would not have been created without government involvement/inventives.


Spent a semester in Singapore and it’s amazing how fast these buildings went up.


Sorry, if what were the case? I’m not sure how this relates to my comment. I’m sure government incentives do help develop luxury hotels but I just don’t think that’s a good use of money. I was basically saying if we use government money to grow the economy, it should be on technology and not tourism.


I am curious what the specifics of the Durham incentives packages were. I’m also not a huge fan of them, but on the other hand IMO, Durham’s cachet, as expressed yet again with 21C/Durham Hotel is superior to our proposed landscape of known hotel labels, which of course aren’t happening very fast. I think I need to track down case studies where maybe incentives got some design leverage or something.


We already have a technology sector. Having most of our economy based on one market is not how you run a stable economy. And for the record, Wake County has 17+ million visitors a year. That’s a little under 30% of NYC figures. That’s pretty impressive.


Just look what happened to CLT USA back around 2009… I know several folks in the banking industry who were out of a job when the recession hit. Diversity is key to a healthy economy. :wink:


Oh, I see what you’re saying. No, I agree that having an economy based on a single industry is a bad idea, but technology is a little different. Like, if all of our tech companies were in a single sector, say biotech, that would be worrisome, but that’s not the case. I’m saying economic development should focus on technology because that fits our market, but I’m not saying we should focus on a single sector. Within the larger umbrella of tech we have biotech, nanotech, cleantech, computer science, software, etc. Those sectors offer higher wages and thicker margins. Tourism produces a lot of low-wage service jobs that don’t generate nearly as much tax revenue.

Though, I’m certainly not opposed to investing in potential tourist attractions. I’ve already said I love science museums. I’m on board with helping cultural (i.e. not for profit) organizations expand and grow, or get established. The four largest tourist attractions in the county are all museums. I’m just not in favor of subsidizing a high end business like a luxury hotel.


I realize there is a separate thread for this… but since we are discussing hotels / boutique hotels… anyone know the status the the boutique hotel at peace and boylan? I am still blown away at the amount of time and push back that project has received


And tech itself cuts across many things, which I will do a horrible job at naming, but cloud storage, cloud apps, app development, hardware etc.


I live next door and have heard nothing.
As for the push back, keep in mind that the project was seeking a variance to the zoning, is next to residential condos, is across the street from a historic single family neighborhood, and is on the very edge of downtown. Why surprised at the push back?
Frankly, as an resident next door, my biggest concern is that hotel across the street on Boylan that was built under false pretenses as an apartment building, and completely circumvented the city’s stated process. While some may cheer that they were able to do that, I think that it presents a dangerous precedent.


Understand the concern to make sure we are getting what has been presented. Surprised by the push back because in my opinion, its amazing that residents that live in a condo building don’t expect anything with any height to be built around around them. And surprised that the city is allowing such push back to pursued the height of this particular building. If other cities did not allow buildings with height to be built around condo buildings, nothing would ever be built.