By Kevin Collison
The new Hampton by Hilton opening soon on the northeast corner of 16th and Main already has booked a high-profile guest, a full-service Starbucks by the streetcar station.
The $25 million, 132-room hotel is expected to open later this month or early April. The South Carolina developer had hoped to have it completed in time for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament but construction proved longer than anticipated.
“Overall, it’s gone really well, but when you do an urban project like this it was complicated by the streetcar,” said Leif Busby of Greenville-based Windsor Aughtry.
“It was worth having the benefit of being on (the streetcar line), but you always stumble on things you didn’t anticipate.”
Daniel Lock, director of sales, said the streetcar location actually has been a draw for the nine-story hotel.
“It’s a selling feature that we’re using on our branding,” he said. “We’ve gotten calls from people coming to town and part of their decision was based on the streetcar.”
The 1,600 square-foot Starbucks on the ground floor wasn’t envisioned when the project was proposed in early 2017. Discussions began with the national coffee shop chain about a year ago.
“We knew this property needed more than a hotel and we also saw the advantage of having it right next to the streetcar stop,” Busby said.
Eventually, Starbucks and Hampton made a deal, making it the first Starbucks to be located within one of the chain’s approximately 2,300 hotels. The Starbuck hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
The hotel design also offers a unique advantage over its competitors. Each of its 16 suites features a relatively large balcony with enough space to comfortably seat several guests around a table.
All rooms feature free wi-fi, refrigerators, a microwave and a 50-inch flat screen television. There’s also a fitness center and complimentary breakfast for guests. The Hampton by Hilton brand caters to the leisure and family market.
Parking is valet only and the hotel has a long-term lease on a 100-space lot across 16th Street. More space available if there is additional demand.
And while the Hampton is only a short distance from several other new hotels, including the 800-room Loews Kansas Convention Hotel going up just a block west, Lock believes the concentration of downtown hotels actually will be beneficial.
“We view our hotel partnership as a positive,” he said. “We think we’ll pull business in from other parts of the metro, more of the suburban market will come downtown.”
Lock also praised the Tisch family, which runs Loews, observing their organization will help bring in more convention business to Kansas City.
“It broadens what the city can capture in convention business and all ships will rise,” he said.
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