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Weirton to weigh hotel, convention center

WEIRTON – The City of Weirton may soon be working to get into the tourism business.

During Wednesday’s meeting, members of the Weirton Finance Committee recommended a resolution for the city to contract with Pompan Hospitality Global Inc. to perform a market study to look into the viability of the construction of a hotel and convention center proposed to be built within the city’s Tax Increment Financing District in the area of the Three Springs Business Park.

If it moves forward, it would be among the first major projects the city has undertaken with the TIF district, which was established by Weirton Council in 2004.

“There was concern we hadn’t really done anything with our TIF district,” City Manager Travis Blosser said.

As part of a TIF district, a local government is able to bank additional tax revenues generated in a designated area for development purposes. The money then is collected in a special fund to be used for infrastructure improvements and business development within the district.

Blosser noted the study, to come at a cost of $28,000, would see if such a hotel and convention center is viable for the community. Blosser noted there are many times of the year the three hotels currently located on Three Springs Drive are booked to capacity, but said that usually is a result of the natural gas industry and may not always be the case.

“We want to make sure the market is there,” Blosser said.

The study, once completed, will remain the property of the City of Weirton.

The project is based on one in Bridgeport, W.Va., and Blosser said there already is interest from multiple developers.

Ward 7 Councilman Terry Weigel asked if the city has had any discussions on the project with the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is tasked with heading up tourism efforts in Hancock and Brooke counties.

Blosser said he has spoken to CVB Executive Director Dan Greathouse, and said the organization is on board.

Blosser also said this would not be the only project planned for the area.

“This is by no means the last thing we’re looking at,” Blosser said.

The city manager said there are plans to bring a proposal for a road extension project in the TIF District before council in May.

The market study will be among the items presented to Weirton Council during its meeting Monday.

(Howell can be contacted at chow[email protected], and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

– See more at: http://www.weirtondailytimes.com/page/content.detail/id/662331/City-eyes-hotel–center-construction.html?nav=5006#sthash.EH7tg2MX.dpuf

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