Study predicts success for convention center hotel

A 260 room hotel adjacent to the proposed downtown convention center would be financially successful according to a study by HVS International of Chicago.

HVS presented its findings at a pubic meeting of the Branson Board of Aldermen Monday evening. This was the third major study of various aspects of the proposed Branson Landing and convention center developments.

HVS said in its first year of operation in 2006/2007, the convention center hotel would have a 49% occupancy rate with average room rates of $134. By its fourth year of operation, the hotel would enjoy 65% occupancy with an average room rate of almost $134.

Net income of the hotel the first year was projected to be $1.4 million and then by the fourth year, the income increases to $3.5 million. The study examined 16 comparable hotels including several high-end properties in Branson and Lake of the Ozarks.

The study said high-end hotels could see some initial loss of business, but average price hotels would not be affected. The overflow from large conventions, 1,000 attendees or more, would benefit other local hotels. The convention center will be the largest meeting facility in the city with a 55,000 square foot exhibition hall, a 20,000 square foot ballroom and 22,000 square feet of meeting space.

The study noted some Branson hotels close during the first three months of the year as a result of the area’s entertainment shows being on hiatus and thereby lower occupancy levels for the year. However, the convention center hotel will remain open for all 12 months and will utilize its meeting space and the convention center space to help buffer those off-season periods.

In addition to the convention center hotel, other lodging facilities in Branson Landing include a 120-room boutique hotel along the lakefront and 75 condominiums – some above retail stores and others on the upper floors of the convention center hotel — to be used for nightly rentals.

The HVS study also suggested that both hotel and convention center be under the same management resulting in a reduction of expenses and about a 4% increase in annual profits. 

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