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Eleven new hotels expected to come to Waco

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 20:19:45-05

Waco is expected to have 11 new hotels in the next two to three years.

Currently, they are in the planning stages or under construction. 

Waco Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director of Marketing Carla Pendergraft said on average 50,000 people visit Waco every week and 30,000 go to Magnolia Market.

The day after Christmas, a line of fans stood outside waiting in line to go into the Silos bakery.

"We watch Chip and Joanna on TV. I love their shows," Susie Pryfogle said. "It's great to see the revitalization of Waco."

Pendergraft said the increased demand in hotels has forced staff to turn people away or redirect them to another hotel. 

"They are going to Dallas, Austin or Hillsboro or Temple to find a room or they are not coming at all because it's that busy in Waco," Pendergraft said. "Our occupancy is about 83 percent in the second quarter and third quarter, it dipped a little bit to the 70s but we are still in the top five in the state of Texas."

Comfort Inn General Manager Ajai Patel said during certain times of the year, the 74-room hotel is at full capacity.

"There are going to be nights scattered throughout the year where virtually every hotel in town is going to be full and turning away guest where they have to go to other cities or use other forms of lodging like Airbnb," Patel said.

The hotels in the works would bring 1,268 extra rooms to Waco.

According to Pendergraft, in addition to the demand, tourism officials are also working to bring more sporting events and conventions to the area to fill the extra rooms. 

"Getting more hotels in Waco is just what we need and the developers believe in this and they are putting a lot of money in this and it's in all of us in Waco and the tourism community to make sure the rooms are filled," Pendergraft said.

Home 2 Suites by Hilton Director of Sales Carlena Lesso and Patel both told Central Texas News Now they agree there is a need for more hotels. However, they said they don't believe 11 new ones are necessary.

"I think Waco can absorb another two or three but when you start getting into 30 to 40 percent more than we currently have. That gets really troublesome because we can't attract that many guests day in and day out," Lesso said. 

The new hotels would increase the number of rooms by 30 percent. 

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