Richmond needs

Navy Hill project

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Some might ask why a hotelier would want more competition. For me, the reason is simple: Richmond would be in the mix for hosting larger events. That’s why I give my full support to the Navy Hill project.

We need a coliseum that is state of the art and able to serve the needs of our visitors and residents with concerts, sports events and more. We have lost too much business to other cities by not having a competitive venue, and since the Richmond Coliseum closed (more than a year ago) we’ve lost even more. Richmond would have the potential to house and host much larger events than we currently do and impact our local economy on a much larger scale.

Currently the only two hotels adjacent to the Greater Richmond Convention Center are the Hilton and Marriott, which have about 650 total rooms. Large citywide events need more than 1,000 rooms and need to be within a short walk to the venue. As part of the Navy Hill project, an additional 500 rooms could be added, enabling three hotels and others to share in the impact of the 1,000-plus rooms citywide.

Richmond has come a long way in the past decade, but we must continue to be competitive. Richmond Region Tourism has put Richmond on the map by sharing our food and craft beer scene, festivals, sporting events and more. But we need more rooms for these visitors to stay and enjoy all that our city has to offer. The other facets of the project — including additional residential and retail space and the GRTC Transit Center — also would enhance Richmond’s image, not only for our visitors, but also for our residents.

John Cario,

General manager,

Hilton Richmond Downtown.

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