Hotel & convention center one step closer to being built - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Hotel & convention center one step closer to being built

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DENISON -- Corporations that want to book big meetings in north Texas often look to the Dallas-area because there aren't many places outside the Metroplex that can hold hundreds, or even thousands, of people at once. Now, the city of Denison is trying to change that.

If you travel along U.S. Highway 75 through Denison, you've probably seen the property slated to become home to a new hotel and the area's first convention center.

Tuesday, Denison's planning and zoning commission approved a site plan for the project paving the way for building to begin.

"We're just really excited. It's been in the works for a lot of years," Kristofer Spiegel, VP of the planning and zoning commission said.

An image of how the development will look was presented at the meeting. The five-story Hilton Garden Inn will connect to the "Texoma Regional Convention Center."

Plans for a hotel and convention center have been in the works since 2008, but hit a roadblock in 2009 when investors backed out. Then in 2012, a new investor stepped in breathing new life into the 16 million dollar development.

It will be located on seven acres of land on the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 691 in Denison. According to the website for Hilton Garden Inn, the hotel will have 150 rooms next to a 20,000 square foot convention center.

Scott Smathers with the Denison Development Alliance says with neighbors like the Texoma Medical Center and Grayson College nearby, the hotel and convention center meets a need for a large gathering place. All-the-while, he says, keeping corporations -- and their tax dollars -- in Texoma.

"In this region, there really isn't another meeting place, other than Tanglewood, there isn't a place for people to meet and stay at the same place," Smathers said.

The hotel plans to break ground in late July. Construction is expected to last 12-14 months.