According to City Manager Clay Pearson, the hotels are arguably suffering the most of all businesses in the city due to COVID-19, second only to restaurants.
The city will partner with hotels for a two-month period, and there will be an application process and eligibility requirements to see who gets the money, said Tracy Rohrbacher, interim executive director and marketing manager at the Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau.
To become eligible, hotels must be located inside the city limits, a registered business with the Texas Secretary of State's Office, comply with city ordinances and not be in debt to the city. The disbursements will be calculated based on the percentage of hotel occupancy tax a hotel generated for the city, according to the agenda.
“I think it is a great idea, and I appreciate you thinking out of the box,” Council Member Adrian Hernandez said of the plan.
The money for the aid is reallocated from the Pearland Depot project. An additional $500,000 will appear on the 2020-21 budget for the depot project, according to the agenda item.
“I am probably one of the bigger supporters of the depot. ... I don’t want us to ever stop making it something very special, and we are working on that, but it’s not a moneymaker at this point,” Mayor Tom Reid said. “The CVB is able to work with the hotel group, and if they can keep them all in business, they are going to come back and probably make a good contribution, and next year, we can give that money back to the depot project.”