TOPEKA (KSNT) – City officials took a vote to decide whether or not to purchase the Hotel Topeka at City Center.
The City of Topeka’s Governing Body voted 7-2 during a special session Tuesday, May 30 in favor of buying the Hotel Topeka at City Center. The hotel is located at 1717 SW Topeka Blvd. and is set to go to auction next week.
This decision is not final, according to City of Topeka spokeswoman Gretchen Spiker. The action taken by officials allows the city to make an offer to buy the hotel. The price of the hotel will not be released until the sale goes through.
“When we learned that Hotel Topeka was going to auction, we saw an opportunity to strengthen our tourism economy, and attract convention business we know we’re currently losing to other communities,” said Topeka City Manager Stephen Wade. “The city will look to experts to develop a holistic approach, along with private sector partners, to re-develop the hotel, to ensure we’ll have a successful and attractive convention center for many years to come.”
Spiker said if the purchase of the hotel is successful, private partners and industry experts will decide how to best redevelop the property.
“We know that hotels and convention centers can have a massive economic impact on a destination,” said Sean Dixon, President of Visit Topeka.” In the first quarter of 2023, Topeka sold more hotel rooms than the first quarter of 2008, which was a record year. Our current success is thanks to incredible sporting events, a full legislative session, and great leisure activities and events. However, we continue to lose meetings and conventions from groups concerned about the condition of the Hotel Topeka. Today, the City of Topeka has stepped up and ensured that our future as a convention destination isn’t left to chance.”
Spiker said Visit Topeka provided data indicating that if the hotel is redeveloped, it would sell almost 50,000 room nights per year by 2027. This could generate up to $1 million in annual sales tax revenue and an estimated $440,000 in annual Transient Guest Tax revenue. Spiker said it’s estimated that the overall economic impact of visitor spending tied to the hotel would be $20 million annually.