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Promote area, not just hotels, city told

 KyleEzell
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The Columbus Dispatch wrote Promote area, not just hotels, city told

Friday, October 19, 2007

By Marla Matzer Rose

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come.

Proponents of a new convention hotel for Columbus were handed that news this week by an expert hired to explore the pros and cons of the idea.

A full-service, 500-room hotel across High Street from the Greater Columbus Convention Center holds promise for the city, said Jeff Sachs of Atlanta-based Strategic Advisory Group. But for such a multimillion-dollar project to be a success, the city must do a better job of marketing itself.

A survey showed that having a 500-room hotel would improve the city’s chances of landing a meeting. Meeting planners surveyed who said they would “definitely” or “probably” consider Columbus rose from 10 percent to 26 percent based on adding the hotel. But the number who said they “definitely would not” consider Columbus remained at 48 percent, indicating that planners don’t think the city is a strong draw for conventioneers.

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I’ve been ranting about Columbus’ lack of image as many of you have, and why perception is reality, and how our bland-nothing image impacts hurting our economy. Maybe our image should be “cellaphane city” or “the largest invisible city in the world”.

Related Stories:

Where are all the Boutique Hotels in Columbus?

Downtown expanding hotel offerings to attract bigger events

Convention-hotel effort gets a lift

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