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Portman Holdings predicts more RFPs to come as cities invest in new projects.
August 09, 2011

Beth Kormanik

Cities from Los Angeles to Kansas City to Palm Beach are considering adding convention center hotels, welcome signs of life for developers.

“The convention center business as a whole continues to grow,” said Charles Pinkham III, vice president of development at Portman Holdings, a real estate development company. “The pace of that demand is outgrowing the supply, both in convention space and hotel space. Convention centers really flourish when they have adjacent headquarter hotels. On top of that, large, significant convention center hotels can really drive revenue.”

Pinkham said he expects to see a handful of cities approve RFPs this year.

“These projects have been on the minds of cities for quite a while, but because of the downturn they’ve held off,” he said. “The economy as a whole has had some struggles. People aren’t as eager to hop on a plane and attend a convention. But the convention business continues to grow. As much as media continues to grow and technology continues to grow, to get the biggest deals done and have the most honest and flourishing relationships, it’s still a face-to-face business. Conventions give a great platform to have several of those face to face meetings at the same time.”

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