WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A few months after ground was broken on the new MPEC Hotel and Convention Center, city officials are anticipating a game changer for the area.

City employees say this will boost the local economy with the new tourism opportunities the future hotel will bring, so while you might just see dirt as you drive by the MPEC, others see it as the gold the city just struck.

In less than two years, you will see that dirt turn into something big for Wichita Falls – Delta Hotel by Marriott will be the only one of its kind in the area.

“So coming to Wichita Falls, it’s going to be the only full-service hotel and, competing in the metroplex, there’s a lot of them down there, so I think for Wichita Falls it’s a unique opportunity,” Wichita Falls Assistant City Manager Blake Jurecek said.

Jurecek said the hotel will help to bring more exposure to Wichita Falls and its surrounding areas.

“The idea of bringing a full-service hotel started when we wanted to try and find a way to bring more conferences to our MPEC and Kay Yeager Coliseum,” Jurecek said. “In order to do that, we can apply for more opportunities with a full-service hotel being on-site.”

Once construction is complete, the city will be seeing visitors on a more frequent basis.

“Our Convention and Visitors Bureau said once this hotel is completed, they’ll be able to apply for about 140 new events that we’ve never been able to apply for, just with having a full-service hotel,” Jurecek said.

The hotel means the Bureau can, not only have more conferences, but more attendees associated with them as well. Many conventions require a full-service hotel in any city in the state if the event is looking to host over 200 individuals.

“When you can bring in any new events, whether it’s 200 people or 500, those people spill over hotels, and you’re just going to have a captive audience in Wichita Falls for several nights at these conferences to spill out to our restaurants and other businesses in the downtown area,” Jurecek said.

Jurecek said the hotel is expected to be completed during the summer of 2023, which is sooner than the original completion date of 2024.