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Possibility of new hotels in downtown Wilmington

READ MORE: New hotels a possibility in downtown Wilmington
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Downtown Wilmington is changing. The area is attracting new hotels. While the projects are far from getting the "green light", two North Carolina based developers are looking to build hotels along North Third Street. Executive Director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, George Edwards said, “We certainly do want to see a vibrant city, and so one example of vibrancy is new development with new hotels.” One hotel would be on Third and Grace with 160 rooms and would be 75 feet tall; about as tall as its neighbor, the Bank of America project. The other will be a Marriot Courtyard Hotel on Second Street between Grace and Chestnut. A third hotel is already in the works, adjacent to the future convention center. The Indigo Hotel will be six stories and house 150 rooms. Kim Hufham, from the Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “We're excited by the prospect of what's happening downtown and we just feel like the additional rooms will be an asset to the product we have to sell.” Hufham said it is hard to predict whether Wilmington’s tourist market will be able to sustain three hotels. While tourism numbers are up almost 3.5 percent this fiscal year, tourism was down 2.5 percent for the month of July, compared to July 2007. George Edwards of the Historic Wilmington Foundation said a main attraction for tourists, is the city's old world charm. “You have to ask, what quality of hotel are you going to get, and are they going to be compatible with the district and is there height going to be compatible,” said Edwards. Developers are still in their early stages, so we do not know exactly what these proposed hotels would look like, or when they would open. The Indigo Hotel near the convention center is expected to open in the year 2010. The city's technical review committee is currently looking at the plans for the Third and Grace site. It will make its recommendations to the developer. Plans for the hotel on Second, according to its developer, is still about three weeks away from the city's review.

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