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Given the events of the past week, I think it's now safe to say that anyone who owns a hotel in this city has all the reason in the world to smack Mayor Dean upside the head with one of those complimentary desk-drawer bibles. Hotel owners, as you know, are tax payers. And recently they, along with the rest of us, found out that roughly a half-million of their hard-earned monies were going to a PR firm hired to sell the new convention center, a product that might eventually cut into their business. A business that sucks right now, by the way.
Two months after finding out that Nashville had the largest one-year drop
in occupancy of any Top 25 market, we now learn that, for the first time in 20 years, supply and demand are going in opposite directions. Mirroring a national trend, the number of hotel rooms in Nashville is increasing
, even as there are less people actually willing to pay for them.
The result: Prospective builders are forced to suspend new construction and tax-paying hotel owners are forced to slash prices, even though it'll ultimately hurt their bottom line. As one told the Tennessean
re: the discounts, "You're just cutting yourself in the throat, really."
But if things seem bad for hotel owners now, just wait until the Music City Center gets built. McNeely Pigott & Fox's main gig may be to shill for bigger convention space, but that widescraper also comes pre-packaged with a 1,000 room, city-owned
hotel. Holiday Inn owners take note: Paying for PR may seem bad today, but just wait till your money is actually going to fund the competition.