Dallas Unveils Plan for New DFW Airport Hotel

Yet another city-backed hotel could hurt area businesses.

While Dallas remains torn over the convention center hotel, the city unveils a new plan: a third DFW Airport hotel in Southgate Plaza, along with a business and retail park.

During the last three months of 2008, revenues at the airport dropped by 11 percent -- about $6 million -- compared with the same period a year earlier, officials said in a meeting on Feb 5.

"As passengers go down, our revenues go down as well," said Jeff Fegan, the airport’s chief executive, during an airport board meeting.

Apparently, Dallas city officials believe a way to remedy that is to build another hotel.

The DFW Grand Hyatt at the airport, which is publicly owned and privately operated by Hyatt -  similar to the ownership and operational structure proposed for the convention hotel - has met or exceeded earnings projections since its opening in 2005 until 2007, the last date for which the city reports numbers.

The new hotel will have 90-120 guest rooms, a bar/lounge and a fitness center. It will also be a part of a larger development with over 30,000 square feet of restaurant space and a four-story office complex.

Local hoteliers and restaurant owners worry that many of 90,000 passengers who traffic the interchange might barely have to leave airport property, which could hurt their businesses even more. The Gaylord Texan resort just north of DFW Airport has already laid off 30 full-time employees this week, blaming rising cancellations of group meetings and lower occupancy rates.

Holly is a Dallas journalist who has written and worked for various area publications including Examiner and D Magazine.

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