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  #81  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2015, 6:50 PM
verybadgnome verybadgnome is offline
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I too think there is such a thing as too much acreage devoted to a single use, e.g. convention center.

Was in San Diego last year and went to their two story CC, a well designed facility with plenty of ways to get from floor to floor.

Maybe we should start requiring property tax impact studies for these types of developments as a means to dissuade against bad development. Of course these studies would have to take into account things like CVCs which could promote CC expansion is certain directions but not others.
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  #82  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2015, 9:42 PM
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This can be an opportunity for Austin to do something world-class, to figure out a new best-practice. Convention center expansion = single story sprawl right in the middle of downtown. It's a terrible use of scarce land, with additional social costs of physically dividing the city.

The dogma is that conventions must be single story events under one roof. The engineering challenge is in people moving. I'm eager to see some top designers tackle the challenge of getting conventions to operate on multiple stories, or connected to existing hotel banquet space.
I would love to see a future expansion to the convention center rebuild the facility within the confines of the existing land area. It would require Austin to not take any large conventions for a few years, but the existing footprint is plenty large to build a multilevel facility and still include a park up on top. It wouldn't be cheap, but it would be a better use of scarce land and would be pretty dang cool. The new building could incorporate retail/office space on the first few levels around the perimeter of the building (i.e. make it part shopping mall/office space), double or triple the existing footprint (albeit not contiguous), and not require eminent domain for land acquisition. Haven't figured out the parking situation though Maybe build a garage connecting to the red line in East Austin with more ground floor retail?
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  #83  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2016, 1:02 AM
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I had no idea the CC was lagging so far behind projections as these are some huge discrepancies.
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  #84  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2016, 4:20 PM
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Interesting how the latest numbers used in the argument against expanding the cc are from 2013 when the JW and other major hotels weren't completed yet. From what I understand, a big reason why we were underperforming before then was due to lack of hotel rooms for larger conferences and events. With those hotels open plus more on the way, the cc seems like it's filling up quickly. I don't buy that the cc is not a benefit to the city and our economy.

Not trying to imply anything but the dude arguing against any expansion is out of SA. Me wonders if there is a hidden agenda on his part considering they just completed an expansion with theirs. Of couse this is nothing more than an unsubstantiated musing on my part and shouldn't be taken seriously at all.
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  #85  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2016, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
Interesting how the latest numbers used in the argument against expanding the cc are from 2013 when the JW and other major hotels weren't completed yet. From what I understand, a big reason why we were underperforming before then was due to lack of hotel rooms for larger conferences and events. With those hotels open plus more on the way, the cc seems like it's filling up quickly. I don't buy that the cc is not a benefit to the city and our economy.

Not trying to imply anything but the dude arguing against any expansion is out of SA. Me wonders if there is a hidden agenda on his part considering they just completed an expansion with theirs. Of couse this is nothing more than an unsubstantiated musing on my part and shouldn't be taken seriously at all.
I'd want to see the most recent numbers after JW and the Fairmont are completed before we even consider expanding again.
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  #86  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2016, 3:09 PM
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^ I agree with this.
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  #87  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2016, 7:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
I'd want to see the most recent numbers after JW and the Fairmont are completed before we even consider expanding again.
Oh I agree, I'd like to see the changes with the added hotels. It's possible they don't have them yet and of course they will continue to change once the next round of hotels open. I'm glad that a plan is in place at least. I'd rather have the planners be proactive rather than when the time comes and they have to start at the very beginning.
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  #88  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2016, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
Oh I agree, I'd like to see the changes with the added hotels. It's possible they don't have them yet and of course they will continue to change once the next round of hotels open. I'm glad that a plan is in place at least. I'd rather have the planners be proactive rather than when the time comes and they have to start at the very beginning.
Agreed. Contingency planning is always smart.
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  #89  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2016, 10:26 PM
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I'd want to see the most recent numbers after JW and the Fairmont are completed before we even consider expanding again.
Sanders doesn't actually link to the 1990's projections that he's railing against in the source article, so it's hard to pinpoint a worthwhile counterargument. We don't event know what part of the 90's it was, so Johnson the consultant could've been projecting anywhere from 15-25 years out. That's a loooong time, and the things that have happened to the hospitality sector in the intervening years -- 9/11, the Great Recession, etc -- were transformative.

The thing that gets me is that Sanders' article pitches the whole thing as if the Convention Center expansion is a great tragedy, and that it's somehow this massive distressed asset in the middle of the city, sucking taxpayer resources down with it into a black hole of empty promises.

This is completely untrue, though. It's packed to the gills. Regardless of the number of shows per year (which is a meaningless metric in the end), it's occupied productively almost 70% of the time, which is considered at full capacity for convention centers. It's been a major demand driver, enough so that the convention package can support three convention hotels (800 rooms and up) plus a ton of middle sized options. Rates and occupancies are way up, and for the first time last year we beat San Antonio in city occupancy for a full month. That's nuts for a city this size.

I don't think we shouldn't look at the numbers again, but it's true, Sanders' metrics are exceptionally limited, and at best don't tell the full story. At worst they're intentionally misleading.
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  #90  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2016, 10:37 PM
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Rates and occupancies are way up, and for the first time last year we beat San Antonio in city occupancy for a full month. That's nuts for a city this size.

I thought Austin's hotel rates and occupancy levels were tops in Texas, overall, for the past couple of years...due to demand outweighing supply!?!

Furthermore, Austin (Metro) and San Antonio (Metro) are very, very comparable in size (~2 million vs. ~2.375 million). It's completely "nuts" to look at actual city limit population size when comparing two (or more) urban areas. The world no longer works in that realm.



Regarding your assessment of the "report," I agree. It's pretty much crap.
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  #91  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2016, 12:17 AM
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I move for expansion. UNLESS another, VIABLE option arises to secure large/larger conventions to our fair city with a smaller-than-average convention center footprint.
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Austin (City): 931,830 +17.90% - '10-'15 | Austin MSA (5 counties): 2,056,405 +19.82% - '10-'16
San Antonio (City): 1,469,845 +10.73% - '10-'15 | San Antonio MSA (8 counties): 2,429,609 +13.40% - '10-'16
AUS-SAT "CSA" (13 counties): 4,486,014 +16.25% - '10-'16 | *SRC: US Census*
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  #92  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2016, 2:39 AM
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I'm all for this too - especially since the expansion plans (as they stand now) have better street interaction than the current CC.
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  #93  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2016, 3:44 AM
verybadgnome verybadgnome is offline
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I tried contacting the PIO at the CC to no avail. Just sent a message to the main PIO office hoping they can give me stats for years CC attendance. Anyone have better luck?
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  #94  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 2:29 AM
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This was also posted in the Update thread, but this is a good place for it since it should put the expansion plans back on the front burner.

http://www.512tech.com/technology/de...6rLQRGgdOejCL/
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Last edited by The ATX; Oct 20, 2016 at 3:20 AM.
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  #95  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by The ATX View Post
This was also posed in the Update thread, but this is a good place for it since it should put the expansion plans back on the front burner.

http://www.512tech.com/technology/de...6rLQRGgdOejCL/
Good article. Dellworld left a huge hole in the convention calendar for 2017 but by 2018 it should be pretty well filled in by smaller conferences and single hotel groups. Demand for Austin continues to be huge and we can keep replacing conventions that outgrow us pretty much ad infinitum -- or until the market for Austin bottoms out, which it will do eventually.

At the same time it's obviously a solid argument for ACC expansion, because boy howdy, Dellworld still represents a crap ton of revenue for downtown hotels, which will all now go to Vegas instead. Boooo.
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  #96  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 3:59 AM
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This announcement just killed one or more prospective hotels' changes of getting financing.
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  #97  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 1:31 PM
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This announcement just killed one or more prospective hotels' changes of getting financing.
Are you being serious?
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  #98  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 2:53 PM
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Originally Posted by The ATX View Post
This was also posed in the Update thread, but this is a good place for it since it should put the expansion plans back on the front burner.

http://www.512tech.com/technology/de...6rLQRGgdOejCL/
Dell announced in the beginning of September that they were moving the conference out of Austin. It took city leaders a month and a half to notice? Or maybe city leaders didn't read the article because they can't get past the paywall.

http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/ne...las-vegas.html
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  #99  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 4:14 PM
wwmiv wwmiv is offline
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Originally Posted by We vs us View Post
Are you being serious?
Actually yes. We've all speculated for months (maybe even a year) as to why new hotel projects keep getting announced given that we've known also for awhile that the lending market is contracting, and news like this is extremely relevant to future hotel bookings when it was one of our larger annual convention events.
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  #100  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2016, 5:23 PM
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Actually yes. We've all speculated for months (maybe even a year) as to why new hotel projects keep getting announced given that we've known also for awhile that the lending market is contracting, and news like this is extremely relevant to future hotel bookings when it was one of our larger annual convention events.
Sorry, wasn't trying to be flippant . . . just wondered if you had direct knowledge of someone losing funding, or were commenting on the general environment.
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