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Allan

'89 expansion of Cobo fell short of goals

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m020-cobo1-0204y-4.jpgA $200 million expansion of Cobo Center in 1989 still carries $140 million in debt that Detroiters and suburbanites won't pay off until 2015. Large, profitable conventions at the center have declined since 1983.

'89 expansion of Cobo fell short of goals

Hotel room shortage blamed for failure

By John Wisely / The Detroit News

DETROIT

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2800 hotel rooms is just way too few for many large conventions. And conventioneers want to be able to walk (or at worst, cab it) everywhere, they don't want to be driving in from some suburb every day.

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The problem is that the occupancy rate for downtown hotels is only 50-60% most of the time. Downtown cannot support many more hotel rooms right now. It will gain some from the Hilton that just opened & some from the Book-Cadillac, but that's about it. We can't have thousands of hotel rooms unoccupied all the time.

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