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'We know the demand': City of Waco sees increase in amount of hotels

Posted at 6:26 PM, Mar 28, 2024

WACO, Texas — Since 2018, 14 hotels have gone up across Waco — right now, six are under construction, and three more have been announced.

  • One year ago, Waco had 3,000 hotel rooms — next year, that number will be over 4,000.
  • In 2023, the hotel occupancy tax brought in $8.6 million — that’s more than double the tax from 2020, which was $4.1 million.
  • Tourism Director Dan Quandt believes Magnolia plays a large role on the impact of hotel growth.

BROADCAST SCRIPT:

Since 2018, 14 hotels have gone up across Waco — right now, six are under construction, and three more have been announced.

“We know our supply and we know the demand, and the demand continues to grow,” said Director of Conventions and Tourism for the City of Waco, Dan Quandt.

One year ago, Waco had 3,000 hotel rooms — next year, that number will be over 4,000.

25 News reporter Dominique Leh asked Quandt: Is that too many hotels?

“The short answer is, probably," he said.

"There's a demand to be here, but we will watch the demand."

In 2023, the hotel occupancy tax brought in $8.6 million — that’s more than double the tax from 2020, which was $4.1 million.

“If you’ve got a strong business climate, strong entertainment climate and those kinds of things, those are the things that attract hotels here, because there’s a reason to come here," Quandt said.

"People see Magnolia and the development as a stabilizing influence on downtown, and that’s why they want to be part of it."

AC Hotel Marriot Hotel Manager is set to open next week with 182 rooms — they say, along with Magnolia — Baylor University, industrial manufacturing facilities and Waco’s central location, all play a role in why hotels want to plant roots here.

“I think just more of a unique charm than maybe some of the larger metro areas and especially post-covid," Marissa Maguire said.

"That’s become a really important component for meeting planners to consider when they’re looking at particular places where they want to host their events."

Quandt says these hotels not only add hospitality jobs, but he believes they create a sense of security for new and current businesses, which in turn leads to more job growth.

For more information on hotels in Waco, click here.