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The hotel has been announced for River Market Place. It will be an eight story 119 room Hampton Inn and Suites. Work will start this summer on the hotel. Work has already started on the ground floor of the Tuf-Nut lofts building.

The press release was interesting because no real new details came out.

I wonder if this hotel and the new Wyndham tower, which will start at the same time, will be open by NCAA tourney time in March 2008.

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The press release was interesting because no real new details came out.

I wonder if this hotel and the new Wyndham tower, which will start at the same time, will be open by NCAA tourney time in March 2008.

Good question. I know that tourism officials hope they are online when March Madness comes around in 2008.

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Good question. I know that tourism officials hope they are online when March Madness comes around in 2008.

Lack of quality hotel rooms is what prevented LR from getting the tourney on previous bids. There's been a lot of progress since then but if we can't meet demand for the tourney we won't get it again. I sure am hoping these rooms will be available, it will really help meet demand.

Of course, the one advantage LR has is so many rooms are downtown and therefore close to the arena. In many cities the arena isn't downtown or their hotels are more scattered.

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Lack of quality hotel rooms is what prevented LR from getting the tourney on previous bids. There's been a lot of progress since then but if we can't meet demand for the tourney we won't get it again. I sure am hoping these rooms will be available, it will really help meet demand.

Of course, the one advantage LR has is so many rooms are downtown and therefore close to the arena. In many cities the arena isn't downtown or their hotels are more scattered.

You're right in the fact that the lack of quality hotel rooms kept LR from getting the tournament. With the redevelopment of the Peabody, Holiday Inn Presidential and even the Comfort Inn and with the new Courtyard that issue has been resolved. Tourist can take the trolley from most of the hotels downtown to Alltel. Having the Clinton Presidential Center and the River Market helps as well. More hotel rooms will help bring back the NCAA and SEC tournaments the city has landed and to bring in more conventions as well.

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  • 1 month later...

MT has announced that a floor will be added to River Market Tower bring the total to 20. The added floor will include additional amenities. MT says that sales have exceeded expectations.

Cool. 300 Third also had a floor added between design & construction (originally 17, increased to 18).

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It's too bad the hotel won't open until the summer of '08. It would've been nice to have those rooms for the NCAA Tournament in March of that year.

Cities do not get the opportunity to host NCAA tournaments often. Little Rock/North Little Rock better really get involved and do this thing right, or the NCAAs won't be coming back to the area anytime soon.

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Cities do not get the opportunity to host NCAA tournaments often. Little Rock/North Little Rock better really get involved and do this thing right, or the NCAAs won't be coming back to the area anytime soon.

I agree. We did well with the SEC women's tourney but this is a MUCH bigger deal. I think as a matter of price our city and county governments are going to go way overboard with the whole thing, probably putting way more effort into it than most places do. There's a lot of competition in this region for tournaments sites and LR's a marginal market anyway. If we screw it up it will be our only chance.

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I agree. We did well with the SEC women's tourney but this is a MUCH bigger deal. I think as a matter of price our city and county governments are going to go way overboard with the whole thing, probably putting way more effort into it than most places do. There's a lot of competition in this region for tournaments sites and LR's a marginal market anyway. If we screw it up it will be our only chance.

I hope they do put too much into it, I'd love to have it back every so often.

It seems like Boise, Idaho hosts a pod every dang year. If they can, I don't know wy we shouldn't be able to.

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I hope they do put too much into it, I'd love to have it back every so often.

It seems like Boise, Idaho hosts a pod every dang year. If they can, I don't know wy we shouldn't be able to.

I agree. Aporkalypse...why do you say this is a marginal market, with others such as Boise and Lexington, both smaller. I suppose it is on the smaller end of typical markets, but still....I think people will be impressed.

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I agree. Aporkalypse...why do you say this is a marginal market, with others such as Boise and Lexington, both smaller. I suppose it is on the smaller end of typical markets, but still....I think people will be impressed.

1. Lexington's MSA is actually larger, look it up. You guys forgot Greensboro but it's usually counted with Winston-Salem. Still, it's pretty tough to come up with examples analagous to LR. There may be a couple but not many.

2. Boise gets it all the time because in the Western region there are considerably fewer cities with the population to support it, especially if you discount California. In fact, when LR was being passed over because of the lack of hotels they were repeatedly waiving the requirement for Boise for this reason. We are surrounded by larger metros - Memphis, St Louis, KC, Tulsa, OKC, New Orleans, Nashville, DFW, Birmingham, etc, etc. These cities are our competition when we apply for these sites.

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1. Lexington's MSA is actually larger, look it up. You guys forgot Greensboro but it's usually counted with Winston-Salem. Still, it's pretty tough to come up with examples analagous to LR. There may be a couple but not many.

2. Boise gets it all the time because in the Western region there are considerably fewer cities with the population to support it, especially if you discount California. In fact, when LR was being passed over because of the lack of hotels they were repeatedly waiving the requirement for Boise for this reason. We are surrounded by larger metros - Memphis, St Louis, KC, Tulsa, OKC, New Orleans, Nashville, DFW, Birmingham, etc, etc. These cities are our competition when we apply for these sites.

I can find no where that shows Lexington's MSA is larger than Little Rock. In fact it shows LR to be larger by a good amount. In the MSA rankings Little Rock is 80 and Lexington is 110.

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I can find no where that shows Lexington's MSA is larger than Little Rock. In fact it shows LR to be larger by a good amount. In the MSA rankings Little Rock is 80 and Lexington is 110.

Correct, Lexington's 2005 MSA estimate is only 430K....210K shy of Little Rock's 640K. Their "Combined" Statistical Area is 640K, but Little Rock's is 820K.

Aporkalypse, you are correct in that its on the smaller end of the spectrum for selected sites, but the selection involves much more than population. In fact, one of the reasons Tulsa and others cannot be considered is b/c of a lack of an even remotely acceptable venue. I was just saying that I think LR will end up making a good impression. I'm positive that it will be a sellout for each game (our office bought all 6 options on our "Save your Seat" program).

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I agree. We did well with the SEC women's tourney but this is a MUCH bigger deal. I think as a matter of price our city and county governments are going to go way overboard with the whole thing, probably putting way more effort into it than most places do. There's a lot of competition in this region for tournaments sites and LR's a marginal market anyway. If we screw it up it will be our only chance.

The first SEC Women's tourney was our trial run and we passed with flying colors. Set an attendance record for the women's tourney (I haven't seen attendance figures for this year's tourney in Georgia). That's why the SEC women's tourney came back last year and will be back again before 2010. Also the large crowds at the state high school tourneys that were held at Alltel proved that people in the area support basketball. Little Rock will be the smallest metro to host first and second round games next year. I think the region is going to go above and beyond in hosting and the people that come in that have never been here before will be pleasantly surprised. I think Little Rock will get in the rotation, but the NCAA will have many more cities to choose from. Tulsa, Wichita and Louisville are building new arenas. Des Moines has a new arena and I'm sure they will be making a bid so I don't think we will be seeing the same cities hosting every three or four years except for the cities that host a Final Four hosting a regional the previous year.

Other First and Second Round sights in 2008

Anaheim

Birmingham

Denver

Omaha

Raleigh

Tampa

Washington, DC

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Correct, Lexington's 2005 MSA estimate is only 430K....210K shy of Little Rock's 640K. Their "Combined" Statistical Area is 640K, but Little Rock's is 820K.

Aporkalypse, you are correct in that its on the smaller end of the spectrum for selected sites, but the selection involves much more than population. In fact, one of the reasons Tulsa and others cannot be considered is b/c of a lack of an even remotely acceptable venue. I was just saying that I think LR will end up making a good impression. I'm positive that it will be a sellout for each game (our office bought all 6 options on our "Save your Seat" program).

I saw Lexington at 680k a couple of years ago. Maybe that was CSA or maybe the MSA dropped a county. They are very close to Louisville and that could be part of the reason.

Tulsa will soon have a much better venue than Alltel, FWIW. Have you seen the renderings? Every other city I mentioned in the region has an excellent venue save Kansas City, where Kemper is as large as Alltel but is older and run-down.

The SEC Women's tourney went well but it was much less of a deal. Only a limited number of fans travel to that compared to something like this.

I think LR will make a good impression as well because I think the city and county will bust their butts to make one. I also think the proximity of the arena and airport to a concentration of downtown hotels and good transportation in the area with buses shuttling to the arena and RiverRail to the attractions will help. We're still a little shy on the hotel end and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this isn't an issue.

It will be paramount that we sell out. Having nearby schools like Ok State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, LSU, Memphis, etc would really help. Obviously UA getting in LR makes it a lock but they would likely have to be a 1 or 2 seed to do that. Mostly we need locals to buy tickets just to watch the tourney. I'm buying 4 and taking a day of vacation for the first day, I love the NCAA tourney and I could go root for the underdog in every game and have a blast.

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Another small city hosting for the 1st time - Spokane, WA which is where the Hogs will play in the 1st round. That said, it's roughly the same size as Boise and it's getting the tourney for the same reason. It's actually the 3rd largest metro in the Pacific Northwest after Seattle and Portland.

That said, I think the restructuring away from pure geographical placement helps. When we were trying to become one of just 3 sites in the South region it was rather difficult. Now they're trying to keep things more geographically dispersed but they still don't want to neglect a region (like the Northwest).

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I saw Lexington at 680k a couple of years ago. Maybe that was CSA or maybe the MSA dropped a county. They are very close to Louisville and that could be part of the reason.

Tulsa will soon have a much better venue than Alltel, FWIW. Have you seen the renderings? Every other city I mentioned in the region has an excellent venue save Kansas City, where Kemper is as large as Alltel but is older and run-down.

The SEC Women's tourney went well but it was much less of a deal. Only a limited number of fans travel to that compared to something like this.

I think LR will make a good impression as well because I think the city and county will bust their butts to make one. I also think the proximity of the arena and airport to a concentration of downtown hotels and good transportation in the area with buses shuttling to the arena and RiverRail to the attractions will help. We're still a little shy on the hotel end and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this isn't an issue.

It will be paramount that we sell out. Having nearby schools like Ok State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, LSU, Memphis, etc would really help. Obviously UA getting in LR makes it a lock but they would likely have to be a 1 or 2 seed to do that. Mostly we need locals to buy tickets just to watch the tourney. I'm buying 4 and taking a day of vacation for the first day, I love the NCAA tourney and I could go root for the underdog in every game and have a blast.

Wow....the BOK Center in Tulsa look nothing short of phenomenal. My mom's family is from OK, and I'm caught off guard that I hadn't heard about this. Last I knew, Tulsa was mirred in apathy toward any city/downtown revitalization, and apparently, they've passed some sort of Vision 2025 plan. Anyway, Cesar Pelli is the architect, who is world renowned. Quite a high-profile project. Makes Alltel Arena look like the low-budget DOG that it is.

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Wow....the BOK Center in Tulsa look nothing short of phenomenal. My mom's family is from OK, and I'm caught off guard that I hadn't heard about this. Last I knew, Tulsa was mirred in apathy toward any city/downtown revitalization, and apparently, they've passed some sort of Vision 2025 plan. Anyway, Cesar Pelli is the architect, who is world renowned. Quite a high-profile project. Makes Alltel Arena look like the low-budget DOG that it is.

I'll agree that the BOK Center is a snazzy looking arena as well it should, at a pricetag of $183 million.

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I saw Lexington at 680k a couple of years ago. Maybe that was CSA or maybe the MSA dropped a county. They are very close to Louisville and that could be part of the reason.

Tulsa will soon have a much better venue than Alltel, FWIW. Have you seen the renderings? Every other city I mentioned in the region has an excellent venue save Kansas City, where Kemper is as large as Alltel but is older and run-down.

The SEC Women's tourney went well but it was much less of a deal. Only a limited number of fans travel to that compared to something like this.

I think LR will make a good impression as well because I think the city and county will bust their butts to make one. I also think the proximity of the arena and airport to a concentration of downtown hotels and good transportation in the area with buses shuttling to the arena and RiverRail to the attractions will help. We're still a little shy on the hotel end and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this isn't an issue.

It will be paramount that we sell out. Having nearby schools like Ok State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, LSU, Memphis, etc would really help. Obviously UA getting in LR makes it a lock but they would likely have to be a 1 or 2 seed to do that. Mostly we need locals to buy tickets just to watch the tourney. I'm buying 4 and taking a day of vacation for the first day, I love the NCAA tourney and I could go root for the underdog in every game and have a blast.

The SEC Women's Tourney may be less of a deal, but it was still a test for Little Rock. Without it being successful I don't think we would be having this discussion. Sure it doesn't draw like an NCAA first and second round game but it is still a sought after event. Memphis wants to host again, but there was such a poor showing the last time it was there the SEC isn't in any rush to have it there again. I think we will be ok on the hotels. If it was an issue, Little Rock wouldn't be getting the tournament b/c there are so many other cities in the region that could host and have the hotel rooms.

KC will open Sprint Center later on this year. The new downtown arena is trying to pull the Pittsburg Penguins by offering them free rent and some other concessions. This will keep KC in the rotation to host the Big 12 Tournament since they host the men's and women's tournament at the same time and at two different venues.

BOK in Tulsa is going to be a nice facility, but they are having issues with cost overruns. Alltel may be a "dog" but it is 100 times better than Barton Coliseum and a lot better than the Pyramid when it was used as an arena. Tulsa has to build something that is nice because Ford Center in OKC has proven that it can be a home for an NBA team and has hosted NCAA tournament games and just finished hosting the Big 12 Tournament. Tulsa has to try to compete with that.

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BOK in Tulsa is going to be a nice facility, but they are having issues with cost overruns. Alltel may be a "dog" but it is 100 times better than Barton Coliseum and a lot better than the Pyramid when it was used as an arena. Tulsa has to build something that is nice because Ford Center in OKC has proven that it can be a home for an NBA team and has hosted NCAA tournament games and just finished hosting the Big 12 Tournament. Tulsa has to try to compete with that.

the man - you are absolutley correct about the competitive pressure on Tulsa. And yes, don't get me wrong, Alltel is 100 times better than Barton! I was just making the point, as I did some time ago, that Alltel proved to be a very low end arena compared to several recently built or being built in similar markets. Given that however, it has been VERY successful...one of the top 15 drawing arenas in the country. I believe that I read the other day that one recent month, it drew over 300,000 people.

BTW - Alltel was $80M about 7 years ago, which you could "almost" double in today's dollars from the rapid construction cost escalation (it would cost at least $120M-$130M).

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the man - you are absolutley correct about the competitive pressure on Tulsa. And yes, don't get me wrong, Alltel is 100 times better than Barton! I was just making the point, as I did some time ago, that Alltel proved to be a very low end arena compared to several recently built or being built in similar markets. Given that however, it has been VERY successful...one of the top 15 drawing arenas in the country. I believe that I read the other day that one recent month, it drew over 300,000 people.

BTW - Alltel was $80M about 7 years ago, which you could "almost" double in today's dollars from the rapid construction cost escalation (it would cost at least $120M-$130M).

Yes there has been a lot of inflation, thanks for pointing that out. I'm sure glad we built it when we did.

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