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Our opinion: Taking it slow for a new hotel

One of the common complaints regarding a new waterfront hotel in Warren is community members’ perceived lack of need for this type of development.

Building hotels is great for a city’s tax base. Increasing the tax base should mean homeowners pay less of a share of city taxes. From that standpoint building the hotel makes sense. A lot of city effort and money is going into the project and no one wants to see either a new hotel sit largely empty or have longstanding hotels in the area end up empty as visitors flock to the new building.

City officials have said they want the new facility to cater to riverfront users. They see people using the river now who could possibly be using a waterfront hotel. That’s all fine and good, but we think one way to assuage residents’ concerns is a discussion of the city’s role in helping fill a new waterfront hotel.

What events could be added to the Warren area’s current offerings that can generate hotel bookings? Are there events under consideration that haven’t been pursued because there aren’t enough hotel rooms in the market? Can the city become a regional convention destination, bringing people for both business and fun? Is there a cost to generating these types of events in the form of additional staffing at the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry or the county Visitors Bureau?

These are all discussions that are part of the overall waterfront hotel project, and they should be had publicly before a check is cut or a shovel touches the waterfront dirt.

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