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Convention Hotel

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NEWS
June 17, 2002
IT'S ALL very simple: More often than not, bad decisions produce bad results. Six years ago, the city, instead of pursuing the logical goal of sponsoring a taxpayer-subsidized, 1,200-room headquarters hotel next to the Baltimore Convention Center, got sidetracked and wound up backing a 750-room venture a mile away. Result: The American Association of Orthodontists swiftly canceled plans to hold its 2002 convention here and moved the 15,000-delegate event to Philadelphia. The Society of Nuclear Medicine also pulled out, sending the word to meeting planners - who book big events years in advance - that Baltimore didn't have its act together.
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BUSINESS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
The city-owned Hilton Baltimore convention center hotel lost $2.9 million last year — the best performance in the taxpayer-financed project's history. City officials pointed to the hotel's performance as a sign of progress Wednesday, noting revenues there increased by nearly $9 million from 2012. "We're making progress. We're doing better than we've done before," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake after the release of the hotel's annual audit. "To me, that's a good sign. " Last year, city officials said they had ruled out selling the money-losing project and hoped to turn a profit within a decade.
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BUSINESS
By Stephanie Newton and Stephanie Newton,Sun reporter | July 24, 2007
A veteran Hilton hotel manager has been named general manager of the publicly financed convention hotel now under construction near Oriole Park. Linda Norman has been selected by the Baltimore Hotel Corp. to head the 757-room Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel, the Baltimore Development Corp. announced yesterday. Norman, who begins her new job in mid-August, is charged with overseeing the construction of the $230 million hotel, which is scheduled to open a year later. Norman, who has worked for Hilton for 20 years, has been general manager of the Hilton Los Angeles/Glendale Hotel for the past three years.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2013
City officials said Thursday that they've ruled out selling the money-losing Hilton Baltimore convention center hotel, but hope to turn a profit on the $300 million project within a decade. The city could lose $60 million to $90 million if it sold the hotel now, officials said. "We would do it at a very significant financial loss to the city," finance director Harry E. Black said of a potential sale. "We don't believe we're at that point yet. We believe the situation is manageable.
NEWS
By Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr | July 31, 2005
THE PAST FEW weeks, the Baltimore City Council has been debating the merits of a publicly financed, city-owned convention center hotel proposed by Mayor Martin O'Malley and the Baltimore Development Corp. Under the proposal, the city would issue $305 million in tax-exempt bonds to build the hotel and create a quasi-city agency to oversee it. As a member of the City Council representing the district where the hotel is to be built, I oppose this plan, though I do believe there needs to be a hotel connected to the convention center.
NEWS
April 27, 1997
MAYOR KURT L. SCHMOKE, like any good executive, should following the guidance of his expert advisers. That is especially true on the issue of building a new downtown hotel as a way to avoid a sharp drop in business at the recently expanded Baltimore Convention Center.The mayor last year brought in Carroll R. Armstrong, a highly touted marketing director, to lure more conventions to this city; persuaded a prestigious business leader, Roger C. Lipitz, to lead a new Baltimore Development Corp.
NEWS
July 6, 1997
WHILE BALTIMORE keeps arguing about the site of a new publicly subsidized hotel, Philadelphia, a chief competitor, is scrambling to build more rooms to support its new convention center. Some 30 proposals for hotels have been made for the downtown business district as that city prepares to compete for a national political convention in 2000.Contrast this with Baltimore.Even after the recent taxpayer-financed, $150 million expansion, the Baltimore Convention Center's ability to compete for smaller meetings -- the bread and butter of the convention industry -- is in grave danger unless more rooms can be delivered within the next two years.
BUSINESS
By Meredith Cohn and Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF | April 12, 2003
Because the city is not planning to hold a public hearing on construction of a downtown convention headquarters hotel before it chooses a developer, a group of architects held a forum yesterday to discuss the visual impacts of a large development in the shadow of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The city plans to choose from three proposals submitted for the project, which is to rise from public land and likely require public subsidy or ownership. Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development arm, has formed a selection committee that has held closed-door meetings but has no open ones planned.
BUSINESS
By Meredith Cohn and Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF | December 22, 2002
On the heels of multimillion-dollar investments in building or renewing their downtown convention centers, cities across the nation are furiously piecing together the next part of the tourism puzzle: the convention headquarters hotel. As with convention centers, cities are increasingly prepared to help pay for the ever growing - some say overgrown - stable of hotels, which typically cost hundreds of millions of dollars and scare off today's lenders. Baltimore currently is soliciting formal proposals for a headquarters hotel to boost its expanded convention center, which has failed to meet projections for convention bookings or economic spinoff.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Meredith Cohn and Scott Calvert and Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF | November 13, 2002
The two men who hope to team up on a new convention hotel in downtown Baltimore know how to build things. Robert L. Johnson, 56, borrowed $15,000 in 1979 to start Black Entertainment Television and created an empire that he sold to Viacom for nearly $3 billion. Now he is pushing hard to bring major-league baseball back to Washington, despite opposition from Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos. Robert M. Gladstone, 73, chairs Washington-based Quadrangle Development Corp., which over three decades has built or bought 38 apartments, offices and hotels, totaling more than 11 million square feet.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | June 19, 2013
The mayor of Baltimore does not want to be on the wrong side of history this time, so she fully supports $107 million in tax increment financing to aid the development of Harbor Point, that big slab of old, chromium-saturated land adjacent to Harbor East — you know, Doughville, the upscale city-within-the-city developed by bread magnate John Paterakis. Apparently, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake regrets the vote she cast 15 years ago against giving a substantial tax break to Paterakis, the wealthy and politically influential owner of H&S Bakery and developer of Harbor East.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | May 9, 2012
The approach to National Harbor, where three highways meet on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, is pretty much a wow, with the arched 18-story atrium of a massive convention hotel its centerpiece. National Harbor is a still-new resort town on a slope overlooking the big river, with six hotels, upscale shops, restaurants, condominiums, marinas and a busy schedule of events that attract healthy crowds on weekends. David Cordish must look at Nat Harbor and wish he'd thought of it. Or maybe he wishes the place had been available as a location for gambling four years ago, when Maryland voters approved the return of slot machines to the state.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | February 12, 2012
Tuesday night in Harbor East, Baltimore's city-within-a-city, hundreds of men and women celebrated Valentine's Day, eschewing advice that the lovers' holiday would have been more enjoyably observed on the previous Saturday night. The sidewalks and streets, the restaurants and hotels were jumping after work, and the energy spilled across Eastern Avenue to Little Italy and the restaurants there. A colleague of mine trying to reach the CVS on Aliceanna Street had an Oh-my-God moment at the scene.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2010
The Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel has performed better in its second year of operation than during its first full year, with bookings and revenue on the rise. Managers predict the city-owned hotel will end 2010 in the black. Although the 757-room hotel has not lived up to expectations — the $301 million project began in 2005, before the recession caused hotel occupancy rates to plummet around the country — city officials say it is beginning to meet many of the goals they had when it opened in August 2008, such as providing jobs for hundreds of city residents and helping Baltimore land more conventions.
BUSINESS
By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman and Michelle Deal-Zimmerman,michelle.deal@baltsun.com | November 6, 2009
The Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel has been awarded a AAA Four-Diamond rating, the auto club announced Thursday. This is the first year the Hilton Baltimore, which opened in August 2008, has been recognized by the auto club. The rating may give a boost to the hotel, which like many lodging properties nationwide has struggled during the economic downturn. AAA honored nine other Maryland hotels and two restaurants with the four- diamond rating. Most were repeat winners, including the InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore, which received the top rating for the 23rd straight year.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com | August 22, 2009
Baltimore's city-owned convention hotel opened to much fanfare and high expectations last August, with white-gloved waiters serving champagne in the blue-and-rust lobby, a jazz ensemble playing and the first guests marveling at the ballpark views. Tourism and government leaders praised the $301 million, publicly financed project as the much-needed ingredient to bolster convention business and elevate the city as a destination. But within months, the bottom fell out of the economy, weakening demand in the lodging and convention industries.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com | August 22, 2009
Baltimore's city-owned convention hotel opened to much fanfare and high expectations last August, with white-gloved waiters serving champagne in the blue-and-rust lobby, a jazz ensemble playing and the first guests marveling at the ballpark views. Tourism and government leaders praised the $301 million, publicly financed project as the much-needed ingredient to bolster convention business and elevate the city as a destination. But within months, the bottom fell out of the economy, weakening demand in the lodging and convention industries.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Edward Gunt and Edward Gunt,Sun Architecture Critic | March 9, 2003
When Mayor Martin O'Malley announced in a news conference last fall that the city had received an unsolicited proposal for a convention hotel, he seemed to be conferring preferred status on the team that submitted it. Other groups had been working on plans for a hotel and didn't get a mayoral news conference. In fact, city leaders rarely call attention to unsolicited proposals. It was as if the mayor wanted to send notice that this team had his backing, and no one else need apply. Since then, the city has received two more proposals for a convention hotel, and both turned out to be more creative than the one from the group O'Malley practically anointed.
NEWS
By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,liz.kay@baltsun.com | November 23, 2008
The problem : A downtown crosswalk is poorly marked, leaving pedestrians at risk. The backstory : Ben Nuckols is too chicken to cross the road - at least, Pratt Street at Eutaw Street. The painted crosswalk stripes are extremely faded and sometimes completely missing, particularly on the east side of the intersection. Nuckols said that's a problem for impatient drivers lined up to turn left from southbound Eutaw onto Pratt, in front of the new convention center hotel. Most "don't realize it's a crosswalk, and they've generally been waiting a while to turn left and it's a pretty short light," Nuckols said.
NEWS
May 4, 2008
The skyline of Baltimore is changing yet again. And whether your vantage point is Camden Yards, Federal Hill or Little Italy, not everyone is pleased with the view. A drive along Key Highway nowadays has the claustrophobic feel of a concrete canyon, the facades of new waterfront residences walling off the harbor. From Little Italy, the eye stumbles over a collection of apartment towers en route to the water. Then there's the constricted view from Camden Yards, a field of vision compromised by the imposing new convention center hotel.
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