LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Despite opposition the City of Lake Charles is moving forward with plans to build a hotel near the Lake Charles Civic Center.
The Downtown Development Authority gave the project a green light recommending the Lake Charles City Council proceed with negotiations for a lease agreement with hotel developer HRI but not before hearing concerns from the Southwest Louisiana Lodging Association.
They told the DDA that don't believe the market can support anymore hotel rooms. However, Mayor Randy Roach says they see the 150-room high end hotel having positive impact on the Lake Area Hotel industry and making the Civic Center a destination for conferences and regional events.
"We have a community that is a major city in the state and we don't have a downtown hotel. We have a major Civic Center that hosts several events and does not have a hotel associated with it. Historically we have missed the opportunity to host different conferences and small conferences because we can't accommodate them with our facility," said Mayor Roach.
Mayor Roach says all of the concerns that have been expressed were considered in the market study done by PKF Hotel Consultants. Roach also added the Civic Center has a 30-year track record for bringing in events.
"PKF pointed out that they had already looked at the calendar of events for the Civic Center for the last three or four years and concluded that the level of activity at the Civic Center today without adding any conferences or types of events would support a 150 room hotel. So we are proceeding on that basis and we feel confident about the report. The fact that the association has raised these questions will certainly be a factor as we move through the process," said Mayor Roach.
With that recommendation by the DDA the City Council put an item on their agenda for their February 1st regular meeting to decide whether or not to continue negotiations with HRI and work towards a lease agreement. Mayor Roach expects the council to support the measure.