Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2012

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HOTEL HAPPENINGS PARKWAY CORPORATION ANNOUNCE NEW CENTER CITY HOTEL MAYOR NUTTER, Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Parkway Corporation announced the construction of a new Hilton Home2 Suites hotel inCenterCity adjacent to thePennsylvaniaConvention Center at 12th andArch Streets,which will open in Summer 2013.The hotel is phase II of development of this property, which began with the 860-space Convention Center Garage. TheHome2 Suiteswill add 246 newhotel rooms to the down- town market in support of the City's hospitality and tourism industry, which supports 56,000 jobs in the city. The project will create 123 newconstruction jobs and 146 newpermanent hotel jobs. "This development will provide brand new Center City hotel rooms for visitors to the newly expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and tourists visiting the city," saidMayor Nutter. "By the time this project opens, we will have added more than 1,000 new rooms to the Center City hotelmarket in order tomeet the demand for additional hotel rooms gen- erated by the convention center expansion and the continued growth in our tourismmarket. This hotel will help to ensure the hospitality industry continues to play a central role strengthening our regional economy." The hotel will feature over 2,000 sq. ft. of meeting space MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER and 9,750 sq. ft. for ground floor retail and restaurants. The total project cost is $60 million and will be partially funded with $2.75 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program(RACP) funding and an Infrastructure and Facilities Improvement Program(IFIP) grant fromthe Commonwealth ofPennsylvania.ThePhiladelphia IndustrialDevelopmentCorporation (PIDC)will provide $5million inHUD108 loans and the building will receive $3 million in EnergyWorks funding from PIDC and The Reinvestment Fund.The energy conserva- tionmeasures for the hotelwill include a partial green roof,high efficiencyHVACsystemand significant energy performance upgrades. L.F.Driscoll will oversee construction of the development. With Philadelphia's hospitality industry as a key driver of economic development in the city, additional hotel rooms are needed to address the growing number of convention-goers, business travelers and visitors to the city from around the globe.With the expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, it was expected that new hotel rooms would be needed to meet the demand generated by that project and the overall growth of the tourism market. To date, Philadelphia has added approximately 525 new hotel rooms in Center City and another 270 rooms are currently under construction. The Hilton Home2 Suites project will add an additional 246 rooms, bringing the total to more than 1,000 new rooms in Center City. "The new Hilton Home2 Suites hotel, so close to the convention center and area attractions, will be a great addition to Philadelphia's complete package," said Jack Ferguson, president&CEO,Philadelphia Convention&Visitors Bureau."Now to cap off hotel development, we would ideally add another anchor convention hotel to meet the needs of the expanded Convention Center,which has more than doubled in size and is now able to host two conventions simultaneously and mega tradeshows." "We are fortunate that Philadelphia hotels are strongly supported by all segments—business, group and leisure travelers," said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC). "In fact, since 1997, overnight trips to Philadelphia are up 66%; six times faster than the national average. 14 Black Meetings & Tourism May/June 2012:

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