Tag Archive for ray garfield

Public Private Partnerships in the Travel Industry

What makes a city great? What sets a city apart from others in attracting new industry, new growth, civic pride, and robust economic development? We have found over and over that the magnet that draws business and tourism is most often found in the heart of the city, its convention center. Although the travel industry, like so many other facets of an economy, is vulnerable to the economic cycles that periodically impact the nation, it is vital for a city to be able to constantly attract conventions, association meetings, exhibitions, leaders of industry, and tourism in general.

Top Factors in Choosing an Event Location

Source: 2006 Meetings Market Report, Meetings and Conventions Magazine

Certainly, being located in an inviting climate and an accessible part of a region and the nation is important to a city’s success. So, too, is having modern infrastructure and attractions, such as museums, performing arts centers, sports, and entertainment activities to enhance the allure for business associations, as well as the casual traveler. Keep in mind also that the first introduction to a city for prospective business leaders who might decide to relocate headquarters or establish regional offices in your city may be their experience when they attend a conference or convention at your convention center.

When reviewing the top reasons for choosing a particular event location, group planning experts determined some years ago that second only to a city having a modern convention center with the available meeting space needed by its group,
is the number of quality hotel rooms attached or adjacent to the convention center. If your city has no modern and attached or adjacent headquarters hotel with “room blocks” available for a majority of convention delegates, planners are likely to select another city that offers that critical combination. This is supported by numerous exit interviews of groups that cite the lack of a dedicated onsite hotel as the reason they selected one convention destination over another.

Approximately 50 cities have successfully built, expanded, or modernized their convention centers and developed connected headquarters hotels over the past decade, and about half of them have used public private partnerships to accomplish those developments. Surprisingly, about another 50 cities have tried
and failed to develop the headquarters hotels so essential to ensuring the success of their convention centers. Those cities that succeeded in completing their developments have several characteristics in common, just as those that have failed have very similar stories about why they are still on the outside looking in. What separates success from failure in funding this vital economic engine for a city?

First, this undertaking can be highly politicized and controversial. The public must be informed as to the benefits to the city of the development, and all-too-common disinformation campaigns by narrow interests opposing such a development should be addressed head-on. There is room for debate about the right approach for a city to take in funding, developing, operating, and maintaining the facilities given political, legal, and economic factors, but there is no denying the benefits of having competitive, modern public assembly facilities and related headquarters hotels. Those cities that have recognized this and value their ability to “sell” their city as a convention destination, know they must build and maintain their public assembly facilities, which must include a headquarters hotel, to be successful.

Tangible benefits of such a development include tens of thousands of new annual visitors, who stay two or three days in the city and spend money on hotels, transportation, dining, entertainment, and shopping. Millions of dollars in annual visitor spending creates jobs, generates substantial tax revenue, and stimulates development of related, private mixed-use development. The incremental travel-related tax revenue is more “profitable” than property taxes, due to the limited burden of visitors on city infrastructure—like police and fire departments, schools, and hospitals—when compared to community residents. Increased tourism-related tax revenue bolsters other revenue to operate the entire city and reduces reliance on resident property taxes.

Returns to the public from a development of this nature are real and substantial—but public investment is required to realize the benefits. Too many cities, however, have failed to recognize or have tried to deny the obvious—the substantial cost of designing and constructing a full-service, first-class headquarters hotel including all the extra meeting space required, versus the limitations on adequate revenue to pay the mortgage and provide an appropriate return to the owner. Those cities too often succumb to the “best sounding” solution—the promise of little to no public financial support asked by developers,
who hope to be selected and to amend their low-budget targets by asking the
city for more money once plans and pricing show the real costs. The loss of time associated with a failed procurement alone hurts the city immeasurably when conventions are lost for three, five, or ten years. But the loss of confidence in civic leadership can be even more devastating through dashed community hopes and aspirations and broken promises to develop those facilities.

Overton Hotel and Conference Center

Overton Hotel and Conference Center, Lubbock, TX

Two recent examples of public private partnerships that have been boons to their cities are the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas, and the Durham Performing Arts Center in downtown Durham, North Carolina. The Overton in Lubbock is that city’s first full-service, first-class conference hotel, situated across University Boulevard from Texas Tech University. It not only serves as Lubbock’s modern conference center, but is also the teaching facility for one of Texas Tech’s restaurant hotel investment management classes. The project financing included grants funded by foundations supporting Texas Tech, a Lubbock city bond issue, plus equity and debt raised by the private development team.

Since the Overton Hotel and Conference Center opened in August 2009, Lubbock has been able to attract associations that have either never hosted an event in Lubbock, or have not done so in many years. Examples of these groups are the Texas Apartment Association, the Texas Payroll Conference, and the Texas Hospital Association. In Fiscal Year 2010-2011, 17 of the top 20 room night-producing events hosted in Lubbock used the Overton Hotel and Conference Center as their headquarters facility. The Overton Hotel and Conference Center has allowed the Visit Lubbock staff to provide decision-makers with more options in facility space and facility features. Lubbock is also seeing an increase in repeat business from groups that experienced the first-class service provided
by the Overton staff.

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

Similarly, the Durham Performing Arts Center, or DPAC, is a public private partnership in which the capital necessary to finance the facility included Durham city bonds amortized by revenue from a portion of citywide hotel occupancy taxes, a grant from Duke University, and naming rights Theater operations and promotion of events and talent are handled by a private sector theater operator. Profits are shared between the operator and the city, with the operator guaranteeing a minimum number of annual events and no operating loss risk for the city. This award-winning touring Broadway Theater was ranked number 9 in attendance among U.S. theaters by Pollstar in 2010, and number 4 in 2011, and generates $28 million in annual economic impact to the City of Durham.

Financing public assembly facilities and related hotels is an activity that mayors and city councils, even city managers, may undertake only once in their public lives. The costs of designing and building these facilities are significant, and the economics of operating and paying for these facilities is complex to grasp. Hence the need for public private partnerships and the selection of well-qualified developers, consultants, and other specialists to help lead the city in understanding these facilities and their financial structures and to help ensure their successful completion. We are aware of a number of Texas cities that are wisely taking these steps in considering or planning public assembly facilities and headquarters hotels, following the example of cities like Lubbock and Durham.
Ray Garfield is a principal of Garfield Traub, a development services firm focused exclusively on essential public facilities. For more information, please visit www.garfieldtraub.com or e-mail rgarfield@garfieldtraub.com.

Click here for the original print out as seen in the April Edition of Texas Town and City Magazine: Private-Public Partnerships in the Travel Industry

DALLAS CONVENTION CENTER HOTEL DEVELOPMENT BRINGS BIG BENEFITS TO CITY

Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel

Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel

The new 1,000-room Dallas Convention Center Hotel made front page of the Dallas Morning News today announcing its debut this Friday. Along with that debut, the City has a lot more to be excited about with actual revenue earnings climbing well above the originally projected numbers.

This rise in revenue is not uncommon with Convention Center Hotels despite the down economy. Convention Center Hotels have proven, if planned well, to bring not only success in city revenue, but also in creating more jobs, boosting revenue for surrounding businesses, and in bringing more visitors to their cities.

The idea for the almost $500 million Dallas Convention Center Hotel stemmed from the City wanting to reap the benefits mentioned above. Luckily for Dallas, the hotel is already doing just that and it has not even opened yet.

Omni Dallas Convention Hotel Roof Top

Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel Roof Top

According to City figures, The Dallas Omni Hotel has booked 273 meetings and conventions through 2017. And the Dallas Convention Center is already reaping the benefits from 89 of those that will use their space. Additionally, figures presented to the Dallas Morning News by Chief Financial Officer for the Dallas Convention Center & Visitors Bureau Matthew Jones, cited that in fiscal years prior to voters approving the hotel, the city booked 31 large conventions. In the fiscal years immediately following the vote, there were 45.

It is these reports that also have the City excited that they will more than likely not have to use any of their reserve funds to pay back any part of the $497 million in bonds used to build the hotel. The numbers also ease the City’s concerns that the taxpayers, who almost killed the hotel project in May of 2009 with a referendum will be angry with them in the end.

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC)

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

“This anger is not uncommon with taxpayers ever since the onset of the current recession,” said Ray Garfield of Dallas-based Garfield Traub Development. “Taxpayers worry that their money is going to frivolous desires by the City, but it is actually projects like the Dallas Omni Hotel, Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, North Carolina, and many others that prove that even though times might be tough, it is hospitality and entertainment developments like these that are helping to keep cities going and looking their best.”

To find out more about how a Convention Center Hotel or Performing Arts Center might help your city, contact Garfield Traub.

Top Factors in Choosing an Event Location – Garfield Traub

Part of excerpt taken from Jim Butler of the Global Hospitality Group® Hospitality Lawyers | Authors of www.HotelLawBlog.com

Founder of Garfield Traub Development provided a wealth of information as one of the “top experts in public-private financing for hotel developments” on a panel for JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group®. The panel was for hotel developers, governmental entities and educational institutions about the feasibility and economics of building a hotel using a variety of public and private financing.

To view Ray Garfield’s presentation, see the easy download link at the end of his summary.

Ray GarfieldRay Garfield
Principal
Garfield Traub Developments LLC
972-716-3838
rgarfield@garfieldtraub.com
Ray Garfield and his company, Garfield Traub Developments, specialize in turn-key development of hotels, conference centers and entertainment venues for municipalities, airports, college campuses and hospitals. These developments can bring hundreds of thousands of people into the communities in which they are located to spend money and generate sales tax, without burdening schools or other public resources.

Ray points out that the number one factor for group meeting planners in selecting a location for a conference is the number of suitable hotel rooms nearby the meeting facility. So, if a city is in the convention center business, it has to be in the hotel business in one form or another.

Ray noted that with loan underwriting much more conservative today than it has been in the past, there is a significant gap between the equity that private developers are willing to invest and the debt that private developers are able to raise to develop a new hotel. Public-private financing is often the only way to fill the gap – without it, a hotel development will very difficult to build in today’s financial environment.

Ray has developed some innovative ideas for piecing together a variety of sources of financing for his projects. For example, Garfield Traub recently completed a $67 million, 303 room, independent hotel in Lubbock, Texas across from Texas Tech University, using a combination of two-thirds private funds and one third public funds. In collaboration with the University’s Restaurant-Hotel-Institutional Management school at Texas Tech, Garfield Traub designed a classroom in the city’s conference facility, and raised $11 million in grants to the city to help with the financing for the facility. The city also sold $11.4 million in bonds for the project. The combination of grants and bonds helped to fill the gap between the total cost of the project and the private equity and first mortgage loan.

See below to view or download Ray’s presentation at Meet the Money® 2010, where he shared with some of the information he provides to cities considering hotel development.

Top Factors in Choosing an Event Location

 

JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® Perspective


Jim Butler

Our Perspective. We represent hotel lenders, owners and investors. We have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $60 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,000 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at jbutler@jmbm.com or 310.201.3526.

Jim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM and Chairman of its Global Hospitality Group®. Jim is one of the top hospitality attorneys in the world. GOOGLE “hotel lawyer” and you will see why.

JMBM’s troubled asset team has handled more than 1,000 receiverships and many complex insolvency issues. But Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. For example, they have developed some unique proprietary approaches to unlock value in underwater hotels that can benefit lenders, borrowers and investors. (GOOGLE “JMBM SAVE program”.)

Whether it is a troubled investment or new transaction, JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® creates legal and business solutions for hotel owners and lenders. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them.

Developing Hotels Using Stimulus Dollars

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center

Sheraton at the Overland Park Convention Center Overland Park, KS

Many cities are currently in the process of selecting a hotel development team to deliver their essential meeting facilities and hotels and are analyzing the appropriate methodology for development financing. Therefore, it is essential to understand all available federal, state and local financial programs and economic incentives available to provide the turn-key delivery program that is expected by public-sector clients.

First and foremost, municipalities should be aware of Build America Bonds (BABs), which have been available since February 2009. This program was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the Stimulus Act.

The Stimulus Act provides an alternative method for municipalities to finance capital costs for essential new facilities.  Besides BABs, the Stimulus Act creates Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, Recovery Zone Facility Bonds and other initiatives, but only BABs are not subject to volume caps and allocations.

One of the best local stimulus approaches is to attract more tourism. The associated local spending and tax revenues generated by annual convention visitors can number from tens of thousands to millions depending on a city’s size. In recent years, cities with convention facilities not supported by modern, connected headquarters hotels have sought to renovate and enlarge or build new convention and meeting facilities, essential to drawing group business to their communities, and many have and are developing the essential, adjacent hotels to ensure success in recruiting groups and events.

BABs currently provide for a federal rebate equal to 35 percent of taxable bond interest payments to a municipal issuer, providing significantly less expensive borrowing than traditional tax-exempt municipal debt, resulting in a more financeable project.  Two municipalities have issued BABs for hotel development financing of their convention center headquarters hotel developments within the past year – Dallas, TX and Franklin County (Columbus), OH.

In order to make Dallas’s new 1,000–room Omni Hotel at the Dallas Convention Center more affordable, it was a goal of the City to achieve a financing rate below 5.5 percent.  Of their $479 million bond offering lead-managed by Citigroup, $388 million was BABs issued at a taxable interest rate of just over 7 percent. However, with the federal 35 percent interest rebate, the net effective interest cost to the City is approximately 4.5 percent.  The use of BABs saved the City of Dallas 150 basis points (1.5 percent) on its then current tax-exempt borrowing rate for comparable maturities, enabling the new headquarters hotel to provide much less taxpayer risk in future operations and debt service costs.

BABs can be utilized not only for public hotels, but for any public facility capital costs which could ordinarily be financed by tax-exempt municipal bonds. The Stimulus Act now provides a vital and meaningful tool allowing municipal governments to access a larger and more efficient bond market to make their own local economic stimulus projects a reality.

Ray Garfield is Principal of Garfield Traub, the nation’s leading development services firm focused exclusively on essential public facilities. Garfield Traub acts as the lead coordinator for all public and public/private project development needs, including financing, design, construction and asset management.  For more than 35 years, Garfield Traub and its principals have financed more than $11 billion in debt and equity and developed more than 30 million square feet of all property types, nationally and abroad.

***IMPORTANT UPDATE: Although the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expired at the end of 2010, Garfield Traub is second to none in providing turnkey financial and development solutions for public/private partnerships (PPP or P3) and public developments using a variety of advantageous funding and financing programs.  For more information on how Garfield Traub can create a hotel development team that will help you quickly deliver your essential development within schedule and budget, call us at 972-991-5200 or e-mail us.

Developing with Public and Private Partners

Overton Hotel and Conference Center

Overton Hotel and Conference Center, Lubbock, TX

As Seen in Lodging Hospitality

For Ray Garfield, the principal of Garfield Traub Development, the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, TX is a prime example of how well developing with public and private partners or public-private partnerships can work.

The 303-room full-service independent hotel opened last September and is privately owned by Garfield’s company and owner/operator 1859 Historic Hotels. The 20,000 square feet of meeting space is owned by the city of Lubbock, and operated by 1859. Together the two sides are helping bring state and regional conferences to the city and ultimately driving economic growth, Garfield says.

His real estate development services firm has been specializing in public and public-private projects since 1997. Fifty percent of his business comes from hospitality projects like the one in Lubbock, and the other half range from sports facilities to performing arts complexes to government and municipal buildings.

Garfield took some time to discuss the often-complex nature of public projects and the new development in Lubbock.

So your company specializes in publicly funded developments and private-public partnerships?
We absolutely do, almost since our first day in 1997. We devised a methodology that works. This is just something we felt there was a real need for years ago and it’s proven to be a correct assessment. The role we play is as development services orchestrator.

Tell us about your most recent project, the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, TX…
The two-story conference portion is owned by the city and the (15-story) hotel tower is owned by the independent equity group we assembled. It’s one of the smaller hotels we’ve done—303 keys, 25,000 net square feet of meeting space, all in one building—with separate ownership.

How did the financing of the project work?
It was $67 million total and I think about 66 percent of that was private funds and 34 percent public funds. Each of these developments is a unique structure, every one a little different. In Lubbock we got a little more than a 50-percent loan, a $35-million first mortgage and what makes this unique is it’s right across from Texas Tech University and they have a great restaurant and hotel majors program (Restaurant/Hotel & Institutional Management). We actually, in collaboration with the department at Texas Tech, designed a classroom in the city’s conference facility, with separate locker rooms for the students who use (the complex) as a laboratory for their studies. As a consequence, two foundations in the state contributed $11 million in grants to the city to help with the financing. And the city sold $11.4 in bonds and we brought $8.8 million of equity in the project.

How does a strictly publicly financed project work?
Like in our Overland Park, KS project (the Sheraton Overland Park at the Convention Center), we helped the city set up a not-for-profit entity that owns the hotel. While it has debt on it the city backs those tax-exempt bonds with a pledge of hotel occupancy receipts as a backstop for when the net operating income can’t totally cover the debt service.

How do you overcome the typical reaction that a city shouldn’t be involved in owning or operating a hotel?
I’ve heard this my entire career, and my answer may sound glib, but it’s true: If you’re in the convention business, you’re in the hotel business. It’s all about maximizing tourism and economic development.

Back to Lubbock, it seems odd the big full-service headquarters hotel doesn’t have a flag flying on it. Will that change?
It’s the first unbranded hotel we’ve done, but the reason is this is a unique market and there’s no other full-service product to speak of. We designed the hotel to take any major flag, in terms of size, room layout, meeting space. The hotel can carry a Marriot, Hilton or Sheraton flag and we’d probably go in that direction once the first real competitor goes up in the market. We were able to save some money by not having a franchise agreement and in an unproven market without a full-service hotel, we spent so much to design and build this, we tried to manage the bottom line as best we could. It was the decision of partner 1859 Historic Hotels and the community. We’ve had such fantastic response from those who have gone to the hotel, I think it will remain independent if a Hilton, Marriott or Sheraton doesn’t come into the city and build another full-service hotel.

How did you find partner 1859 Historic Hotels?
It was a needle in a haystack for Lubbock. I knew of them from previous discussions and they had great interest in coming to Lubbock and probably accepting less investor type returns than any Wall Street investors we would have brought in. They are an outstanding hotel company, even if they’re not as well known as the big ones. They’re local to Texas (based in Galveston) and it’s incumbent on the development services company to access the smartest money for the city to mitigate the municipal risk.

Do you expect this avenue of development to continue growing?
We do. West Palm Beach (FL) is building a new hotel for their convention center, there’s ongoing competition in Virginia Beach for a new hotel at their convention center, competition in Pasadena, CA, Portland and Albuquerque, NM … I could go on and on. All these future deals are in the immediate future or the next two to three years and we’ll continue to see that. Maybe in another 10 years this may have played out, but thankfully we just opened a performing arts center for Durham, NC, and did a municipal courthouse and the other half of our business (isn’t hospitality). It’s nice to have a broader footprint.

To see more about this project click here.

Public Private Partnership Makes W. TX Vision Reality

Overton Hotel and Conference Center

Overton Hotel and Conference Center, Lubbock, TX

As posted on HotelBusiness.com

LUBBOCK, TX—A decades-old vision to have an upscale, full-service hotel and conference center that would draw scores of guests and meetings attendees to this West Texas city and also support Texas Tech University in its own backyard has come to fruition here as a result of a public private partnership.

The Overton Hotel and Conference Center is the tangible yield of years of efforts by the partnership, which is composed of owner/operator 1859 Historic Hotels, Ltd., the City of Lubbock and developer Garfield Traub. “Lubbock is almost a text book case of how to bring private equity and conventional financing and tie it to public support in order to accomplish a very top priority for a community,” said Ray Garfield, principal of Garfield Traub Development, which led the project.

A great deal of the drive to get the project off the ground centered on the university and its desire to have a full-service hotel and conference center on or near its campus. “Around 1999 to 2000, we talked with [Texas Tech] and we talked with the city. The city itself, the entire community wanted a full-service, first-class hotel with ballroom and meeting space to support that entire region of Texas. When the efforts by Texas Tech fell short, the city took responsibility for it and we began our relationship with the city around 2003, 2004 and were formally selected to be the developer and led the effort to design and to build the facility,” Garfield said.

According to Steven Moffett, president of Garfield Traub’s hospitality division, the Overton deal is a $67-million project, of which $22.4 million was funded through the city and grants programs that Garfield Traub helped initiate with the city. The city issued bonds for $11.4 million. The balance—$44.6 million—was privately financed and includes a $35-million loan from Plains Capital Bank, Moffett said.

The City of Lubbock owns the conference center, the 11,250-square-foot ballroom, the kitchen and some back-of-house facilities, which it is leasing to 1859 Historic Hotels for the next 40 years with options beyond that. Garfield Traub and 1859 Historic Hotels owns the 15-story, 303-room hotel tower and the land underneath the hotel.

“It was a classic structure with great collaboration between the city and the private sector,” Moffett said.

The property is located within an urban renewal project known as the Overton Park District, which is considered the largest privately funded project of its kind based on acreage in the U.S. In creating this district, hundreds of properties in what was deemed a distressed neighborhood were acquired during the past decade by locally based McDougal Cos. “and essentially…eliminated one of the largest slum and crime areas in the city. [McDougal] has built, really, one of the truly great planned redevelopments in the country that any city has envisioned or tackled or accomplished,” Garfield said. The district encompasses student housing, retail, commercial, office, mid-rise and single-family residential space.

“The hotel and conference center that we developed with the city and the support of the university is sort of the crown jewel of this district,” Garfield added.

Garfield also noted that while the city could have issued tax increment financing (TIF) for the Overton project, the increase in assessed values of the redeveloped district “have been so tremendous over the past decade, and the tax revenues so greatly increased to the city, that the city issued its own debt at $11.4 million as its contribution.”

Hunter Carmichael, general manager of the Overton, agreed the community and university have been very supportive of the project. “Sometimes you get projects like this and everybody’s trying to find a way to hinder it. In this market it’s been the exact opposite of that,” Carmichael said.

The hotel overlooks Texas Tech and Jones AT&T Stadium, home to the university’s Red Raiders football team.

A key feature of the hotel is the second floor incorporation of a classroom for the school’s restaurant/hotel institutional management (RHIM) program, which helps students prepare for hospitality careers. “We are staffing our facility with many of the students going through the RHIM program,” Carmichael said, adding students outside the hospitality program also are on staff. “It’s been one of the advantages of being so close to the campus.”

The second floor also houses meeting rooms and executive boardrooms and the GM said his sales team will therefore be going after association and group business for the use of those facilities. “The state associations that rotate throughout all of Texas have really left the West Texas Panhandle off their radar due to having no facility that could accommodate them. So we’re going after all those groups that have been skipping the Panhandle and try to get them to come back out here. There hasn’t been a new full-service facility opened up here in over 20 years,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael added the initial feedback from some groups that have come to the hotel has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

The hotel and conference center, designed by architects DLR Group, includes a street-level restaurant, a business center, a fitness center and an outdoor pool. A bar and lounge area is situated between the conference center and the hotel lobby, which features 22-foot-high ceilings. Loewen Design Group did the interior design, incorporating West Texas themes.

The Overton is operated as an independent like many of the properties under Galveston, TX-based 1859 Historic Hotels’ umbrella, which includes a portfolio of some 2,500 guestrooms nationwide. Among its properties are the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY; the Cliff House at Pikes Peak in Manitou Spring, CO; and the Menger Hotel proximate the Alamo in San Antonio.

Flagging the Overton with a major brand was considered, but according to Moffett, consulting firm PKF was brought in to help assess branding and it concluded the property would not get the additional rate and occupancy in the market that would be needed to justify a flag. However, Garfield suggested a community with the size and dynamic of Lubbock would, ultimately, attract the attention of flags such as Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton. “So we’ve designed the hotel, in every respect, to meet or exceed the requirements to accept a major flag. We’ll continue to keep our finger on the pulse of the marketplace there and when we believe it’s absolutely necessary to be branded then we’ll make that decision,” he said.

Currently, the hotel has a budgeted rate of $139 for this year. “And right now we’re exceeding that,” Carmichael said. “We’re in a market where, historically, average rate has run in the $70s.”

Carmichael noted that there are also two Holiday Inns, a Staybridge Suites, a Hawthorn Suites and an Embassy Suites in the market.

“Being a part of delivering a hotel of this quality to the City of Lubbock and to Texas Tech University has made this very special for us because Lubbock has needed this for a long time and they deserve a hotel like this,” Moffett said. “When you’re there in the lobby and people walk in you hear, ‘Wow. This hotel’s in Lubbock?’ It’s pretty amazing. It’s just a classic win/win situation for everyone.”

  • Veteran Owned Business Directory, Get your free listing, now!