Plano staff are expected to move forward with finalizing a contract with a lobbyist to secure additional financing options for a planned hotel project as part of the Plano Event Center.

Plano City Council provided feedback during a Dec. 11 preliminary meeting about the potential hiring of a lobbyist to advocate for making additional measures to fund a hotel project at the event center and adding it to the city’s legislative agenda.

The overview

Director of Policy and Government Relations Andrew Fortune briefed council members about using qualified hotel projects, which would provide a 10-year rebate of the state portion of sales tax, local mixed beverage taxes, and the state hotel and motel occupancy tax. A qualified hotel project requires the passage of a bill authorizing the city to access the additional funds and functions as an economic development tool, Fortune said.

For the project to meet state statutes, a hotel must be constructed on city-owned land. Fortune said he recommended hiring lobbyists BCS Group and Focused Advocacy on a limited basis to a two-year contract worth $120,000, exclusively for the hotel project.

Fortune said the estimated value of the project, once complete, is between $10 million and $15 million over 10 years.

Quote of note

“When we’re talking about an investment in Plano, an investment in a tool that we can access for [Plano Director of Economic Development] Doug [MacDonald]’s team down the road, it is something that I strongly support,” Fortune said.

Digging deeper

The dialogue between staff and council is connected to a Nov. 7 briefing led by Plano Parks and Recreation Director Ron Smith. Construction on infrastructure projects, such as sewer lines and connections to Spring Creek Parkway, are expected to be complete ahead of any hotel construction.

Construction on the hotel is anticipated to begin in fall 2024 with a proposed opening in spring 2026, Fortune said. Based on Smith’s November update, the hotel is expected to have 175 rooms, a full-service restaurant and a parking garage with 800 spaces.

What’s next?

Assuming the bill is successfully passed in June 2025, which would coincide with the conclusion of the next regular legislative session, Plano staff could use the economic development tool as early as September 2025, Fortune said. The city is expected to file for its first rebate around spring 2027, which would be about one year after the hotel is expected to open, he added.