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El Paso poised for new convention hotel downtown

By: Genevieve Curtis

EL PASO, Texas--A convention style hotel in downtown El Paso is one of the top items on City Council's wish list, and Tuesday council members took steps to make it happen.
We feel like the next big asset needed in our downtown is a convention style hotel, said City Council Rep. Cortney Niland.
If El Paso wants to compete with other big cities for big conventions, it needs a place with enough space to harbor all the out-of-town guests and host the events.
City leaders want to see one downtown to go along with all the new attractions coming with the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds and the Ballpark.
Niland said El Paso receives a tremendous amount of interest from groups wanting to bring their groups or conventions to the Sun City but current hotels aren't a match for the needs of many of them.
Niland says in order to reach that goal, the council won't commit city incentives to new hotels downtown, unless the proposal includes convention style full service accommodations.
We really want to put our focus on this next big asset and save our incentives for a project of that magnitude, said Niland.
I think its just planting the seed for a bigger, better deal if you get a convention style hotel downtown, said Frank Montes, owner of The Network, a bar and restaurant downtown.
More guests staying in nearby rooms, means more foot traffic for him, more mouths to feed and cocktails to pour.
Anything to draw business downtown at night I think would help flourish downtown as a metropolitan, said Montes.
But city leaders said they're not just hoping and wishing the right hotel will be delivered to their door, they're taking it to the next level and will begin the process of putting out a proposal to attract the right match.