“That argument doesn't fly,” Bright warned Patel. “If they want to be here, they'll adapt to the standards we have.”
Such scrutiny is welcomed by Carrier, who doesn't want to see downtown flooded with substandard hotel development.
He noted the committee prompted developers to upgrade designs for the Hampton Inn while the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority oversaw the conversion of plans for a standard Courtyard by Marriott just west of Bricktown to what most qualifies as a full-service, upscale hotel.
“There is an expectation when it comes to downtown quality,” Carrier said. “Hampton and Courtyard are at a higher quality level than many of their counterparts in other areas, other cities.”
The hotels, Carrier added, also are enjoying high occupancy rates year after year. Carrier believes the success at all downtown hotels is driving the interest in new development.
“We're not seeing anywhere near that potential growth in other parts of the city,” Carrier said. “Right now downtown is running highest occupancy and highest daily rate. That's because there aren't a lot of rooms and there is a lot of business that wants to be downtown. The question is whether this demand is sufficient for these types of hotels.”
Jane Jenkins, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., welcomes the influx of new hotels, but worries about the rapid pace of development.
“I'm sure there's been a demonstrated market for hotels in downtown Oklahoma City,” Jenkins said. “That the market is going this fast is a bit surprising. I hope we don't overbuild in the frenzy of getting this done, that we're not moving too quickly.”
Jenkins and Carrier also noted a 500- to 600-room conference hotel is also to be added over the next few years as part of development of a new convention center south of the Myriad Gardens.
“A convention hotel won't be in Bricktown or Deep Deuce, but still, it's a lot of inventory we're looking at,” Jenkins said.
“As these projects come on line, and if we get it all at the same time, one thing we'll have to look at is visitor services and infrastructure,” Jenkins said. “We need to be looking now at what that influx of visitors will do, and how we can accommodate those visitors. It's not a small number. It will increase pedestrians and traffic. We have issues we'll need to address.”