And Tom Muldoon, president of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Association, said Baltimore's lack of such a hotel puts it at a serious competitive disadvantage. Philadelphia has a 1,200-room Marriott connected by walkway to its convention center.
"Baltimore is the envy of Philadelphia in so many ways, with the Inner Harbor and the waterfront, the beautiful ballpark, the attractions close together," he said. "But it doesn't have one thing it needs, and that allows us to steal its business regularly: a headquarters hotel. We hope Baltimore never builds one, to be honest."
But perhaps the most tangible criticism came earlier this month, when Orioles Chairman Peter G. Angelos revived an offer to develop a hotel containing as many as 1,200 rooms directly across from the Convention Center, on land owned by the city.
The move resulted from concerns that Baltimore would lack a convention headquarters hotel if the Inner Harbor East plan reaches fruition, sources close to Angelos said.
A formal proposal from Angelos is expected soon. Schmoke and Lipitz both said Angelos' proposal wouldn't alter plans to support Inner Harbor East.
Meanwhile, the BDC is awaiting the Paterakis team's response to seven conditions -- including the naming of a national operator, financing specifics and parking provisions -- that it set in March. Lipitz and BDC President M. J. Brodie said the Inner Harbor East hotel won't go forward unless the team satisfies the conditions.
Paterakis' partner, Stormont Trice Development Co. of Atlanta, brushes off the criticisms.
"We're going to have a four-star quality hotel there," said Don Trice, president of Stormont Trice Development. "What we'll build in Baltimore will be a distinctly Baltimore hotel, not some cookie-cutter project. When everyone learns of the breadth of experience our team brings to the table, I think they'll feel comfortable."
Pub Date: 4/24/97
Sun staff writers Eric Siegel and JoAnna Daemmrich contributed to this article.