WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — 4B Board members unanimously voted to approve funding for the proposed MPEC conference center and hotel project.
This is a project that will be built next to the events hall and coliseum in the south parking lot that’s there now.
The project includes the construction of a Marriott-Delta hotel which will include 200 rooms and a restaurant within its seven stories and will share walls within the hotel will be a convention center.
With the approval of the 4B board members for funding for a conference center hotel at the MPEC, all that remains is Wichita Falls City Council’s approval for spending the tax dollars.
The O’Reilly Hospitality Management Company will invest more than $48 million the hotel and will own and operate it. They will also build a nearly $12 million convention center paid for by 4B sales tax funds.
“A conference center hotel really can revitalize and attract additional development investment because we bring people,” O’Reilly Hospitality Management Company CEO Tim O’Reilly said. “We can bring, you know, 500 to 600 at a time for conventions to Wichita Falls.”
The project involves the construction of a Marriott Delta Hotel, which will include 200 rooms and restaurant within its seven stories.
The facility will also have a convention center with 18,000 square feet of meeting space.
Wichita Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Lindsay Barker said the addition of a combined hotel and conference center will be beneficial in luring conventions and events to the city.
“There’s 14 peer cities and all but three right now already have a hotel on sight with their meeting or convention space,” Barker said. “Out of those three that don’t, one of them is Abilene. And just last week their city council passed a measure to start a hotel project.”
While some have concerns of creating competition between other hotels and facilities, MPEC Facilities general manager Michael Tipton says the concern doesn’t lie on their end.
“We’re on board with the hotel project,” Tipton said. “We’re looking forward to it and look forward to more discussions about how we can work together to sort of accentuate the events we already do.”
Tipton said the hotel project opens the door for more events for the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall and creates another place for visitors to stay during popular conventions and large events, like the Hotter’N Hell Hundred.