KC council rejects petition aimed at forcing convention hotel vote

Rendering courtesy of Hyatt Hotels
The proposed convention center hotel’s city financing will not be put to a public vote. | Rendering courtesy of Hyatt Hotels

Barring a lawsuit and court ruling to the contrary, there will be no public vote on city financing for the proposed $308 million Hyatt convention headquarters hotel.

The Kansas City Council voted 12-1 on Thursday to oppose a citizen group’s efforts to delay and perhaps block the 800-room hotel’s construction via initiative petition.

Submitted by Citizens for Responsible Government in September, the petition called for the City Council to repeal two ordinances related to city financing approved for the Hyatt, including a $35 million upfront cash contribution and a contract giving Hyatt exclusive rights to about half the catering business at the Kansas City Convention Center. The petition also called for the city’s code of ordinances to be amended to require voter approval before adoption of any city agreement related to the development, financing, construction or operations of a downtown convention center headquarters hotel.

If the council had supported the petition, a public vote on the Hyatt project would have been required — assuming the developers didn’t defeat the petition effort in court.

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