Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Proposal will increase tourist convenience

It's no secret. Victoria has a hotel shortage. The increased economy in the area, including Eagle Ford Shale activity, means available rooms can be scarce, and when you find one, it is usually at a higher rate than other areas.

For this reason, the plan from Kemp Properties to build a hotel in front of One O'Connor Plaza seems like an exciting possibility for Victoria. The current plans call for a six-story hotel with a partial seventh floor. The roof would feature a pool, poolside bar and workout room, while rooms on the fifth and sixth floors would have balconies. On the ground floor, the hotel lobby would house various businesses, including a florist, a hair salon and a grab-and-go style sandwich shop with indoor and outdoor dining space.

Casey Beasley, a partner with Kemp Properties, says the company hopes the new hotel will become a destination for wedding receptions, which will help fill rooms as well.

This plan is a good opportunity for Victoria. The plan calls for 144 to 150 rooms, which will add to the available hotel space in town. The placement will also help to bring more tourists to the downtown area and showcase the variety of businesses, restaurants and clubs from the longstanding family businesses to the recent additions. The Victoria Main Street Program, area residents and businesses, both old an new, have worked hard to improve downtown. The city's work repairing underground pipes, repaving streets and putting in new sidewalks also greatly improved the image of the downtown area. Now, there is a good mix of restaurants, shopping and entertainment opportunities downtown.

Adding a quality hotel would be a step in the right direction and offer a more complete downtown Victoria experience. All of these offerings are wonderful and important, but without a nearby location for tourists to stay, the area can be easily overlooked. If there is a hotel within walking distance of Victoria's downtown attractions, it will make these businesses much more accessible to tourists and become a boon for everyone.

We are glad to see the Victoria economy is strong enough to merit the building of a downtown hotel, and we are excited to see the opportunities this establishment could bring both in tourism and in increased occupancy. We look forward to seeing this project develop and hope the hotel can join Victoria's downtown attractions.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.