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  #41  
Old Posted May 24, 2007, 11:52 PM
Schertz1 Schertz1 is offline
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There a several hotels DT now that are nicer and more expensive than W.
     
     
  #42  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 12:31 AM
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Yes, there are expensive hotels in downtown San Antonio, but are any of them big? Do any of them have a large number of hotel rooms? It's hard for me to imagine a major luxury hotel chain like the W opening a 27 story project when the only other hotels of equal class in the area are so small. There must have been a huge shot in the arm for class A hotel space in downtown San Antonio.
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 1:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Double L View Post
Yes, there are expensive hotels in downtown San Antonio, but are any of them big? Do any of them have a large number of hotel rooms? It's hard for me to imagine a major luxury hotel chain like the W opening a 27 story project when the only other hotels of equal class in the area are so small. There must have been a huge shot in the arm for class A hotel space in downtown San Antonio.

First, the footprint at that site is very small. I seriously doubt more than 300 rooms will be in the project. Second, there are many existing or planned W’s in places not necessarily known for business. Third, the W is not the end all in luxury hotels. They are nice, but I have not seen one rated as one of the best places to stay. I wont even begin to list nice hotels in this town or how many rooms they have. They are not all boutique hotels. Finally, projects are not based on why they shouldn't be built. No one sits around and thinks of ways not to make money. One thing is almost certain; there will be a nice hotel at that site. If the W is not part of the Houston St project, some other equally nice hotel will be.
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 1:51 AM
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I agree with Schertz.

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  #45  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 5:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double L View Post
Yes, there are expensive hotels in downtown San Antonio, but are any of them big? Do any of them have a large number of hotel rooms? It's hard for me to imagine a major luxury hotel chain like the W opening a 27 story project when the only other hotels of equal class in the area are so small. There must have been a huge shot in the arm for class A hotel space in downtown San Antonio.
I'm not sure what you are consider a large number of rooms, but it sounds like there are some details about this project that have been lost along the way. From what I recall, the proposal called for 7 floors of hotel and 20 floors of residence. Of course everything can change if anything happens.

I'm not really familiar with W hotels. What are considered equal class hotels? Is the W line really luxury? I checked rates for the W in San Diego in July and they were $279. The Westin in San Antonio, another Starwood property, is $399 for the same period.
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 6:30 AM
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I'm surprised that no one here has mentioned it yet, but the number one draw for any downtown hotel is the convention center. More importantly, the amount of continuous exhibit floorspace is what draws the really big groups. If you have an exhibit hall with about 250,000 sq ft of continuous space, you should be competitive enough to draw about 65-75% of the largest conventions out there.

A common mistake is to build or expand convention centers with a lot of contiguous floor space (meaning lots of exhibit halls on the same floor, but not connected), but not a lot of continuous square footage, free and clear of walls and columns, odd layouts, and with ceilings high enough for modern exhibit booths. Any of those problems will prevent many large groups from using the facility; what you end up with are a lot of the medium to smaller groups (even though the CC could hold all of them at the same time).

Why is this so important? Because large groups reserve larger blocks of hotel rooms. This means a demand for larger hotels near the CC, and a larger variety of hotel rooms. Small groups do not drive the demand for DT hotel space the same way. They tend to have fewer big spenders, and will choose a distant hotel if the price is right.

Phoenix residents have suffered with this problem downtown for years; it only had 2 decent-sized hotels downtown, all because the floor area of our largest exhibit hall was only 180,000 sq ft. The new addition will boost the largest meeting hall to over 300,000 sq ft in size (900,000 gross sq ft for exhibit space alone). This vaults us into direct competition with Las Vegas, Los Angeles and others.

And at the same time, there are over 2,000 hotel rooms planned or under construction downtown. The 1,000 room Sheraton has already been pre-booked 5 years into the future, and it is still 18 months away from opening. There are also 3-4 botique hotels (including a W) under construction or planned. There could be more, but all of the resorts around the valley compete with dt. Still, it's still great to see this finally happening.

Folks, get yourselves a huge exhibit hall, and the hotel rooms will follow. Oh, and the Alamodome doesn't count. In spite of what city officials and sports team owners will tell you, nobody really holds conventions in stadiums.

Last edited by vertex; May 25, 2007 at 6:47 AM.
     
     
  #47  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 6:36 AM
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Vertex, I may be ready this wrong but the HBG Convention Center has that.

http://www.sanantonio.gov/convfac/HBGCC/hbgccfpsl.asp
     
     
  #48  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 7:11 AM
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Thanks for the link. So it is continuous. Or at least technically speaking; 2 portions (halls A & B, and halls C & D) are joined by the vague-looking Bridge Hall. I mention this because I don't know how much can really fit in the Bridge section spanning between the two larger areas, given weight and ceiling restrictions.

Even the website labels the exhibit hall as contiguous space.

S.A's CC



What has so many convention planners excited about the Phoenix CC is the fact that it is a gigantic box, with a total of six walls, a 32' ceiling all the way around, and a floor capable of bearing any load, since this hall is the bottom level of the CC. It makes things so much easier to plan for, and eliminates any doubts. Plus, no really big conventions have traveled to Phoenix yet (because of the size limits of the old hall), so it's a brand-new convention destination for many people.

In comparison, here's the Phoenix CC



Obviously, the two plans are drawn to different scales.

Last edited by vertex; May 25, 2007 at 7:22 AM.
     
     
  #49  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 7:47 AM
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I just don't like your evidence.




"The size of the lot is small"..."The W isn't the end all in expensive hotel chains"..."The W in San Diego is cheaper than the Westin in San Antonio"..."I think 7 floors were for hotels and 20 floors were for residence" (no information on this project is out at all)




It isn't the "end all in hotel chains", but it is Class A hotel space and DT San Antonio doesn't have much of that. The hotel market is going downhill in the U.S right now and people are traveling less. The conventions are where people are travelling. This project would likely cause a 33% rise in class A hotel space downtown within that climate and might not be able to stay open.
     
     
  #50  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 8:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double L View Post
I just don't like your evidence.




"The size of the lot is small"..."The W isn't the end all in expensive hotel chains"..."The W in San Diego is cheaper than the Westin in San Antonio"..."I think 7 floors were for hotels and 20 floors were for residence" (no information on this project is out at all)




When the project first went to the HDRC it was a 27 story multi-use building, but i do remember them saying most of it would be residential. Which is why i don't know when/how it turned into a W with now no condos.
     
     
  #51  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 8:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertex View Post
Thanks for the link. So it is continuous. Or at least technically speaking; 2 portions (halls A & B, and halls C & D) are joined by the vague-looking Bridge Hall. I mention this because I don't know how much can really fit in the Bridge section spanning between the two larger areas, given weight and ceiling restrictions.

I can personally vouch for that "Bridge Hall". My mom and sister show pure bred miniature poodles and they go to the San Antonio dog show every year and always set up in that section since it has a beautiful view of the river directly below it. I don't have any pictures of it from the inside, but it's atleast 100x100 feet square and has ~15 to 20 foot ceilings. As measured by GoogleEarth it measures 100x150 feet. It's quite large, but even so it's one of the smaller sections of the convention center, but still plenty big enough for any exhibit. Also it says "bridge" and you questioned its structural integrity for supporting something big, it would be fine. It says "bridge" but really the river just passes below the building through a few small tunnels. The river actually dead ends just on the other side of the convention center after it passes under the building.

The Bridge Hall is connected to Exhibit Hall C with no walls or pillars between them. There is a large door that can be closed to divide the spaces, but it's always open during the dog show. It is not however connected to Exhibit Hall B. The two are divided by a wall of doors.

In this image from Live Local Search, the Bridge Hall is that white roofed section spanning the river in the upper right. I'll actually be there in July and I can take a few pictures from inside if need be. I've actually wanted to take more pictures of the convention center and walk around a bit more and explore the next time I'm there. To help you figure the scale, in this image you can see three cement trucks backed up to the convention center at the bottom of the picture. Compare their size to that section.
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Last edited by KevinFromTexas; May 25, 2007 at 8:28 AM.
     
     
  #52  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double L View Post
I just don't like your evidence.




"The size of the lot is small"..."The W isn't the end all in expensive hotel chains"..."The W in San Diego is cheaper than the Westin in San Antonio"..."I think 7 floors were for hotels and 20 floors were for residence" (no information on this project is out at all)




It isn't the "end all in hotel chains", but it is Class A hotel space and DT San Antonio doesn't have much of that. The hotel market is going downhill in the U.S right now and people are traveling less. The conventions are where people are travelling. This project would likely cause a 33% rise in class A hotel space downtown within that climate and might not be able to stay open.
Is there such a thing as class A hotel space? I thought that only pertained to office buildings.
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 12:00 PM
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I've never heard of that, but they do classify them according to their luxury - 2 star, 3 star, 4 star, 5,6 and even 7 star hotels now. I'm not sure exactly what the criteria is for that system, though.
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  #54  
Old Posted May 25, 2007, 11:24 PM
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If anything, the W would be comparable to the Westin.
     
     
  #55  
Old Posted May 26, 2007, 6:37 PM
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Actually, W and Westin are completely different hotels. maybe price wise they are similar, but W is definately more expensive than Westin. The styles though, are very different. Westin is more buisness/leisure, more traditional. W is very modern, very innovative and strives to be just a little different. Its luxury, but very sleek, modern, young luxury if that makes sense. Staying at a W is an experience, I suggest it to anyone who hasn't. I have stayed at one in Chicago and here in Dallas. I know W isn't very known in TX cause there is only one, and its new, but elsewhere W is very highly regarded and considered to be at the top of the hotel chains right now. I certainly wouldn't compare it to staying at a Westin though. The two hotels have very different clientels. Actually, a good way I heard to describe a W, especially at night, and like staying at a club. When it gets dark, the lobby usually has a dj in it, and its booming with techno music, and mixed with the multi-colored lighting and very modern look, you basically are in a club, with a front desk, lol. Here in Dallas, the W has what is most definately the most popular and exclusive club/bar in the city, Ghost Bar. There are celebrity sightings there almost every week.
     
     
  #56  
Old Posted May 27, 2007, 2:02 AM
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No more bickering in this thread. You guys are degrading the quality of threads about San Antonio. Also please do not start a new thread unless you know for sure that there isn't one already posted about that topic. This only causes problems since people aren't able to read through about a project from start to finish which causes doubts about a project's validity and only fuels arguments like we've seen lately.

If you aren't able to find a thread to post in in the list on the first page, then check at the bottom right of the screen. Go to pages 2 and 3. If you still don't find it that way, then use the search feature which can be found at the top of the forum.
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  #57  
Old Posted May 29, 2007, 3:16 AM
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No problem with the skepticism. The Kress deal has been cooking for over a year. If the developer closes, hopefully a flag announcement will follow closely. Even if they close, the flag may be different.
     
     
  #58  
Old Posted May 29, 2007, 4:47 AM
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Hmm sounds similar to Hotel Contessa flag story. Originally the property was suppose to be an Embassy Suites. However the owners of the building (Hixon) found it cheaper to use a different management company (Benchmark Hospitality International) to manage the property. That way they save money and dont have to pay for an "Embassy" flag. It's all politics...

Just a little history there...


     
     
  #59  
Old Posted May 29, 2007, 5:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Complex01 View Post


Hmm sounds similar to Hotel Contessa flag story. Originally the property was suppose to be an Embassy Suites. However the owners of the building (Hixon) found it cheaper to use a different management company (Benchmark Hospitality International) to manage the property. That way they save money and dont have to pay for an "Embassy" flag. It's all politics...

Just a little history there...
I thought the reason they went the Contessa direction was because of a lawsuit from the group that owns the nearby Hilton. There was some sort of agreement that no other competing hotel from the Hilton Family (such as Embassy Suites) would open within a certain distance (or something like that). Could it be that the cheaper route was to not get involved in some legal battle over hotel management?
     
     
  #60  
Old Posted May 29, 2007, 5:47 AM
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The reason for the suit was because the company that owned the Hilton had exclusive rights to the Hilton brand names in San Antonio.

This is from a city document (see page 2)
http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=2&gl=us

Just prior to construction, Hilton Hotels Corporation purchased Promus Hotel Corporation, which included the Embassy Suites brand. A local hotel owner holds the exclusive right to the Hilton Hotel brand and operations in San Antonio. That company filed suit to block the development of a Hilton-brand hotel (i.e. Embassy Suites) without their consent. Construction of the hotel was halted. Hixon filed suit against Hilton for misrepresentation within the executed hotel operating agreement.

In anticipation of a timely resolution to these suits, City Council granted extensions of the Construction Agreement on April 26,2001, December 13,2001, and again on June 20,2002. When it became apparent that the legal and development issues were not going to be resolved before another extension would be needed, the Construction Agreement was allowed to lapse June 30,2003.

Today, the lawsuits have been arbitrated and the Embassy Suites brand is no longer being associated with the project. River-ton is eager to move forward with the same project as proposed in 2000. They have requested that the Construction Agreement, River-walk Lease and the License Agreement (which will be addressed in the future) be revised and approved. The other agreements approved by City Council in 2000 remain in effect
     
     
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