The Nashville Convention Center Authority (NCCA) approved Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. with a room-block agreement. In effect until Dec. 31, 2033, the planned 430-room Westin hotel in downtown Nashville will be located across from the Music City Center (MCC).
This agreement is in hopes to ease the demand for full-service hotel rooms tied to landing more convention business.
“The deal is similar in structure to one the authority struck with the 800-room Omni,” said Charles Stark, CEO, Music City Center.
The Westin will commit at least 80 percent of inventory, or 344 rooms, and 64 percent of inventory for “shoulder nights,” which are dates before and after the event, for conventions booked at least 36 months in advance. For conventions booked 24 through 35 months out, the Westin will commit at least 50 percent of inventory totaling 215 rooms and 40 percent of inventory for shoulder nights. The Westin, one of three potential full-service hotels that have been watching the downtown market is expected to open in early 2017.
With the promise of a signature restaurant, the Westin Nashville will also include a rooftop pool and lounge, an indoor pool, a full-service spa and fitness studio, and 25,800 square feet of meeting space. The hotel will be owned by Nashville Hospitality Capital LLC and managed by Wischermann Partners Inc.
“Obviously, it’s moving very well forward. Starwood is very bullish on the project … they’ve got a lot of money invested in it already,” said Stark.
Although there is a provision that could allow for it in the future, Stark said the hotel is not currently being considered for inclusion in the campus sales tax, which extends to the Music City Center and the Omni. The campus sales tax helps pay down the bonds used to fund the MCC. The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency’s board recently approved $15 million in tax-increment financing for the project.
“The Westin Nashville will offer a fresh, new option for visitors to this up-and-coming travel destination, celebrated for its live music scene, world-class entertainment and innovative Southern cuisine,” said Kevin Fee, managing partner, Nashville Hospitality Capital LLC. “The Westin brand’s emphasis on inspiring well-being combined with the experience and insight of Wischermann Partners will be sure to deliver a first-class guest experience.”
A second full-service hotel in immediate proximity to the Music City Center has been said by City and tourism officials to be critical for the convention center to reach its full operating potential. As of January, 16 conventions had passed on Nashville, citing limited hotel supply as the reason.
“Demand for this city is at a historic high. The addition of the Westin to our hotel package will help ensure our continued success,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “The 430 rooms, within walking distance of the MCC, lower Broad and the Gulch, with a brand that is new to Nashville makes this a perfect fit. And the timing couldn’t be better.”