Norfolk hopes to bring new hotel, conference center downtown

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by Philip Townsend, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 6:41 PM

NORFOLK---In its third attempt in a decade, Norfolk is trying to bring a new hotel and conference center downtown.
 
The latest plans were reviewed by city council Tuesday, and they are getting little resistance from business owners nearby.
 
"You're increasing the convention size," said downtown business owner Phillip Decker. "Once you do that you're opening up a whole new group of conventioneers who we can host."
 
However, there is strong opposition from local hotels, specifically the downtown Marriott and Sheraton.
 
A group representing the hotels argues that they are already struggling and another hotel would only dilute the market.
 
Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot said he wants to make sure these hotel owners have a voice, but at the same time he believes in the market downtown.
 
"We've just recently had the MEAC tournament here," said Burfoot. "We couldn't get everybody in a hotel in downtown Norfolk."

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