Boutique hotels booming in downtown Kansas City

Today, there are about 3,450 hotel rooms in Kansas City’s downtown, Crossroads and Crown Center areas. Two years from now, there could be more than 4,600, and that’s not counting the proposed 800-room convention center hotel tower.

Civic leaders, while strongly advocating for the big hotel, equally praise nine smaller hotels that are part of a larger “boutique boom.” The boom, leaders say, will help Kansas City stay competitive in the world of conventions, business and tourism travel.

Private investors and hotel companies are plunging into the boutique hotel market, with plans to turn historic downtown buildings into guest lodging and new inns from scratch. The nine boutique hotels that have already been announced will add more than 1,170 rooms to downtown Kansas City.

Ronnie Burt, CEO and the city’s chief convention marketer at VisitKC, said that this year, downtown hotel occupancy is running at 68 percent, with an average daily room rate of $104. That’s up 8.4 percent in occupancy over last year and up 4 percent in average room rate.

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