Updated 10:28 a.m., Dec. 14, 2011
Gwinnett Center officials formally have issued the Request For Proposals (RFP) for a "headquarters hotel" that would be part of the Duluth center/arena complex. Deadline for interested developers is Friday, Jan. 13.
The RFP says that an "upper-upscale" facility of at least 300 rooms is desired, as well as meeting and ballroom space and self-contained parking. Also, the hotel should be capable of expanding by at least 100 rooms.
that this type of hotel has been a desire of tourism officials for some time. She noted that hotel occupancy in Gwinnett has been good in 2011. Anders said the RFP would be "testing the waters."
“We originally went through this process in 2007, before the economy really took a dive, and there was a tremendous amount of interest,” said Preston Williams, CEO of Gwinnett Center and the GCVB, in a news release.
Williams noted that many conventions or meetings won’t even consider a venue that doesn’t have an on-site, attached full-service hotel, and this has resulted in a great deal of potential lost revenue.
Developers would be responsible for "development, financing, design, construction, and operation of the HH," according to the RFP. The center is "working in partnership" with county officials on the RFP.
Also, Gwinnett Center officials are open to possible revenue sharing opportunities and possible integration of branding into existing media, such as website and electronic message boards, the RFP says.
Plans call for the hotel to be an "integrated and coordinated component" of the center and arena. As part of this, a room-block agreement would have to be part of the proposal, allowing up to 75 percent of the rooms to be reserved for a specific event.
The center complex, which is owned by Gwinnett County and operated by GCVB, hosts 600 events and 1.2 million visitors a year, according to the RFP, and the proposal wants a hotel that would increase events and revenue.
To read the complete hotel RFP, visit the GCVB website.