Council sets briefing on Omni hotel deal

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 6:11pm

The Metro Council’s first official briefing on plans for a new downtown Omni hotel that would anchor the city’s new convention center is scheduled for next Thursday.

In a letter sent to council members, At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry and Councilman Rip Ryman have organized a joint committee meeting on Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. for council members to learn about details of a new $250 million, 800-room hotel that would be built south of the Country Music Hall of Fame between Fourth and Fifth avenues.

Barry is the newly appointed chair of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, while Ryman chairs the council’s Convention, Tourism and Public Entertainment Facilities Committee.

The briefing will include a presentation delivered by Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling and Omni representatives.

Calling the hotel a “championship win” for Music City Center, Mayor Karl Dean on Tuesday unveiled a public-private hotel plan in which Omni would initially take on $250 million in construction and other related costs.

In turn, under the proposal, Metro would direct tourism-related tax revenue generated by the hotel’s operation to Omni as an “economic development enhancement grant” valued at $103 million. Metro would pay the sum incrementally over 20 years. Because those revenue streams are by law reserved to first pay off debt for the new convention center, non-tax revenue would back up Metro’s financial obligation for the hotel.

To cover the company’s costs in purchasing the land, Omni would also collect $25 million generated through tax-increment financing.

5 Comments on this post:

By: yucchhii on 8/26/10 at 11:48

Once again, NOTHING to get the "HOMELESS" off the streets!! I'll tell Mayor Dean that when he says they have no money to take care of the homeless in front of a crowd, i'll tell hime "I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!!! Deans little baby (the new convention center AND hotel) should have been abortions!!!

By: yucchhii on 8/26/10 at 11:50

go ahead DEAN, keep sweeping the holess issues under the carpet! The mounds that have been made from ALL the previous sweepings are visible now and there's NOTHING you can do about it unless you start doing the right thing with our tax (I meran YOUR) money!

By: yucchhii on 8/26/10 at 11:55

Spelling correction to the second comment made by "yucchhii". In the first line of the comment, is a statement where holess was meant to be "HOMELESS". I could not find a way to edit the comment in order to correct it.

By: FredFlintstone on 8/26/10 at 12:17

So the expected Hotel Tax revenue was going to barely cover the cost of building the Convention Center, some experts said it would and some said it wouldn't. We were promised that the revenue from leasing/selling the planned Hotel Location would cover any difference. Now we are also using that same expected Hotel Tax revenue to pay for Gaylord's repair and remodel of the Opryland Hotel AND now we are also going to use that money to build OMNI a hotel attached to the Convention Center.

I'm not opposed to the new buildings, but I am concerned about spending money we don't have yet. We are now using the same dollar in three places at once, and we haven't even received it yet. That isn't good money management.

By: airvols on 8/27/10 at 10:28

Enough with the homeless issues, they need to move on, or move out. Church Street needs to be cleaned up now, it's dangerous to walk the streets in this city with all the homeless/alcoholic/druggies begging. There are resources to help, the problem is you can't help the unwilling. We had the right program in place, buy them a bus ticket. I don't want to hear about failed opportunity and mental issue that occur with this group. There are many community resources to leverage, if your really want to help yourself. You need to take this discussion to the social help boards and motivate them to help.