Leaders from Hamilton County, the City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), The Port and Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) gathered earlier today to formally announce that they would jointly send out a request for proposals for the development of a new, upscale Convention Center Hotel to be built at the site of the 5th & Plum Parking Lot. 3CDC will lead the search for a hotel developer, working in conjunction with The Port and CVB, and with the support of County and City leaders.

Both public and private entities have long believed the development of a new, upscale convention Center Hotel is essential to boost convention attendance and generate new revenue for the region. According to CVB, a major factor in lost convention business has been the lack of a first-class Convention Center Hotel. A project that has been at least a decade in the making, the call for proposals is the first positive step in the process to develop a new Convention Center Hotel.

“When the county held public hearings to determine our top capital project priorities, we listened,” Commission President Denise Driehaus said. “The need for a top-notch convention center hotel rose to the top of the list. That’s why we are working aggressively to get a new hotel built.”

To assess the current hotel market, 3CDC, CVB and The Port commissioned a study – conducted by HVS, a global hospitality consulting firm and an expert in the area. The results concluded that the market could support the addition of a new upper-scale, full-service Convention Center Hotel. In addition to bringing new convention and meeting business to Cincinnati, a new Convention Center Hotel would create temporary jobs during construction and permanent jobs once the hotel opens.

“Cincinnati is a world-class city and we deserve a world-class hotel,” Mayor John Cranley said.

According to the HVS study, the market can support a Convention Center Hotel with a minimum of 600 rooms, along with 40,000-60,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a 12,000-20,000-square-foot ballroom. The potential hotel site, which is owned by The Port, is 82,000 square feet and is located south of the Duke Energy Convention Center, on 5th Street, leaving open the possibility for the Convention Center to expand in multiple directions in the future.

In the coming months, 3CDC, The Port, and CVB will work with HVS to identify a developer and negotiate a financial package.

About Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is a sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $5.3 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing more than 80,000 people in a variety of fields and bringing 26.6 million visitors to the region annually. Visit www.cincyusa.com for more information.

About Hamilton County
Our vision is to serve the residents of Hamilton County by providing the best and most responsive county government in America. Our mission is to reach out to Hamilton County residents to provide efficient service of the highest quality, encourage resident participation in service development, and to deliver county services equitably.

About The Port
The Port is a public real estate development and finance specialist serving Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati. The Port both initiates redevelopment and manages projects on behalf of local governments and private institutions to improve property value and promote job creation. Visit www.cincinnatiport.org for more information.

About 3CDC
The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) is a private, non-profit full-service real estate developer with a mission and strategic focus to strengthen the core assets of Downtown Cincinnati in partnership with the City of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati corporate community. Its work is specifically focused on revitalizing and connecting the Central Business District and Over-the-Rhine. For more information, visit http://www.3cdc.org.