Marble Falls: EDC Keeps Up Pursuit of New Lakeside Hotel/Conference Center
Featured illustration (above): Seaux Pierce Architecture in 2017 produced renderings for a 151-room lakeside hotel with conference room that a Georgetown venture proposed building in downtown Marble Falls. Those plans failed to materialize, but the city still seeks a P3 deal to make it happen. Image: Seaux Pierce Architecture
By Edmond Ortiz Marble Falls (Burnet County)–The city and a Boerne-based hotelier have extended a pact in order to try and realize a long-proposed hotel and conference center in the Lakeside Park area.
City Council on June 16 approved an amendment extending a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. (EDC) and the Phoenix Hospitality Group.
The original MOU, signed in 2019, was due to expire May 31. The agreement now runs through Aug. 31.
Marble Falls are still eyeing the Lakeside Park area to develop a new major hotel and conference center. Image: Google Streets
Officials with the city, EDC and Phoenix said the COVID-19 pandemic complicated their discussions toward developing a new hotel and conference center in the downtown sector.
Phoenix did carry out a conceptual architecture exercise with the EDC board and the council in late February, but the coronavirus outbreak delayed the delivery of the final conceptual package until late May.
“Now that the preliminary pricing set has been received, we would like to amend the MOU a second time to allow time for the submission of bids by the general contractor and subconsultants as well as the coordination of any value engineering that needs to take place,” city staffers wrote in a summary to the council.
The MOU covers reimbursement of pre-planning costs incurred by the EDC, including the geotechnical report and architectural site tour.
As of yet, there no indications on whether the proposed hotel would be owned and run by a large hotelier or be independently owned and operated.
Phoenix Hospitality made its name in the industry by turning around under-performing properties around Texas, starting with the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio.
Phoenix also turned around once-distressed properties such as the Crockett Hotel, El Tropicana and Deluxe Inn in San Antonio, the Doubletree Hotel in Austin, The Derek in Houston (formerly Sheraton Grand Hotel at the Galleria), and other properties around the U.S. Southwest.
Marble Falls has more than 20 hotels, motels and other hospitality facilities, some with conference/meeting spaces. But the city has long wanted to see a new hotel and connected large-scale conference center arise along Lake Marble Falls, a major destination for residents and tourists alike.
A few years ago, the EDC and Novak Cobalt, a Georgetown-based partnership, conceptualized a 151-room, five-story, 130,000-square-foot hotel and conference center, but those plans fell through. VBX described that project in this August 2016 article.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.