Ground has not yet been broken on the new 800-room downtown Kansas City high-rise hotel, but the city’s convention business is already reaping some benefits.
Visit KC, the area’s hospitality and tourism organization, on Wednesday announced four major convention bookings in coming years. The organization said the bookings — from animal health science, government and nonprofit associations — could generate more than $17 million for the local economy.
▪ The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science will hold its national meeting here in 2021, with about 4,500 attendees projected. This is the first time the group has selected Kansas City for its convention.
The organization “short-listed” the city once the convention center hotel was announced this spring, according to Visit KC’s announcement.
“As I’ve said before, the convention hotel is a game changer,” said Ronnie Burt, Visit KC’s president and chief executive. “Usually, this type of interest doesn’t happen until the shovel is in the ground.”
▪ The Mothers of Preschoolers International will return to the city in 2017, bringing about 3,500 attendees, Visit KC said.
▪ The American Public Works Association chose Kansas City for its 2018 “International Public Works Congress & Expo,” which should draw about 5,000 members.
▪ Quilts Inc. selected Kansas City for its 2019 “International Spring Quilt Market.” The event is expected to attract about 7,000 visitors, the convention organization said.
The 800-room Hyatt hotel will be built on the square block bordered by Wyandotte Street, Baltimore Avenue, 16th Street and Truman Road, immediately east of the Bartle Hall ballroom and northeast across 16th Street from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
If all goes as planned, construction could begin in the first quarter of next year, about the time that a new downtown streetcar line is expected to open. Supporters hope the Hyatt can open by mid-2018.
The project is expected to cost about $311 million.