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Raleigh officials: Lack of hotel rooms hurting downtown's chances for big events

Posted February 20, 2015
Updated February 23, 2015

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— Raleigh is at the top of many lists for the best places in America to live and work, and the notoriety is attracting more conventions and big events to the state's capital. 

But according to Loren Gold, an executive vice president of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, a lack of downtown hotel rooms is keeping some big events from coming to the City of Oaks.

"You look at the downtown inventory right now, it's somewhere around 1,150 rooms," Gold said. "If you look at the size of our convention center, we definitely have room to grow our room inventory so we have a better rooms to-space ratio."

The current 1,011 rooms are spread out among hotels in the downtown overlay district, which include the Raleigh Marriott City Center, the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, the Holiday Inn-Raleigh Downtown, the Hampton Inn & Suites and the Days Inn.

Gold says another 1,100 rooms could make the downtown area better for big events. Right now, the Raleigh Convention Center hosts about 60 to 65 events each year. 

"I think we're going to see the number flatten a little bit because we've only got so much inventory," he said. 

Hotel projects are in the works. Construction on a Residence Inn near the intersection of Salisbury and West Lenoir streets is scheduled to begin this spring. 

A Greensboro developer wants to bring a Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites to the intersection of Davie and Dawson streets. Developers also want to build a hotel at the corner of Wilmington and Lenoir streets. 

"When we get those rooms, I think we'll have ample opportunity to pursue additional business," Gold said. 

Gold says the city is studying the downtown hotel market.

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