Convention Center Gets New Hotel

Houston's convention center is set to gain another hotel. Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality announced today they've secured the funding to construct a 19-story hotel adjacent to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Laurie Johnson reports.
Last year, Houston hosted 294 conventions, events and shows. More than 600,000 people visited the city for those events.

But despite a huge convention center flanked by Minute Maid Park and the Toyota Center, Houston often misses out on the largest national conventions.

Nick Massad is president of American Liberty Hospitality.

"We have looked for a site in the downtown area for some time near the George R. Brown Convention Center. Basically because downtown is a good hotel market and according to most of the experts, it is under-roomed. In other words, it doesn't have enough hotel rooms to attract the larger conventions."

For example, there are about 4,500 first class hotel rooms in the downtown area. That's compared to 8,000 or 9,000 rooms in the Galleria area.

"So what happens is a lot of people have to stay in other parts of the city and it's just not convenient, so we don't get a lot of the larger groups. But this will add some rooms to downtown and I think it will be a catalyst that will attract additional hotel rooms down into that area because there's sort of a synergistic approach, if you will."

The 19-story Embassy Suites Hotel will add 262 rooms. Construction will begin in March at the corner of Dallas and LaBranch, just across from the Hilton Americas.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...