Conroe approved a cost increase of $377,316 for the construction of Hyatt Regency Conroe Hotel and Convention Center during an April 13 council meeting. Director of Finance Collin Boothe said the total construction cost is up to about $108.57 million. According to previous reporting, the original budget was set at $99 million.
The item received negative comments from council during public deliberations when the item was presented in an April 12 workshop meeting, with Council Member Marsha Porter saying the increase of construction cost was "outrageous," but she said she was willing to agree to construction.
“Here we are up to the line, we’ve spent [$107] million, are we going to let $1 million or $2 million keep us from closing the deal?” Porter said. “We do need for the hotel to open.”
However, Council Member Howard Wood voted against approving the contract revision, stating he committed to one contract, not seven amendments. Boothe said he could not guarantee this will be the last contract revision. Mike Bullard, the construction manager with Garfield Construction, said at the April 12 meeting he didn’t foresee any need for additional contract revisions.
“We committed to a contract; seven reiterations of it doesn’t work for me,” Wood said.
Boothe said the funding for the extension will come from interest earnings from the construction accounts. Public Information Officer Andrew Yousse said the opening date of the hotel is not available to the public. According to previous reporting, the opening date for the hotel was May 2.