Pine Bluff Picks Panel To Study Firms Interested In Hotel Post

Courtesy: Dale Ellis | News Source: nwaonline.com

PINE BLUFF -- The Pine Bluff Civic Auditorium Complex Commission named a committee Tuesday to review two responses to the city's recent request for qualifications as officials move into the next phase of efforts to transform the Plaza Hotel into a working component of the convention center once again.

The commission elected to form a hotel committee to conduct initial interviews of the respondents and to report back to the commission in February.

Joe McCorvey, director of the convention center, suggested asking Mayor Shirley Washington, who is a member of the committee but was absent Tuesday, City Finance Director Steve Miller, City Attorney Althea Hadden-Scott, Advertising and Promotion Commission chairwoman Rosie Pettigrew, and Civic Auditorium Complex Commission chairwoman Lisa Kosmitis to serve on the committee. The commission members approved the suggestion.

"We should start with those five people to listen to those presentations, and those recommendations can be covered next month," McCorvey said.

Two hotel management firms, Beechwood Pinnacle Hotels of Little Rock and Prism Hotels and Resorts of Dallas, responded to the city's request for qualifications and will be invited to make presentations to the committee.

According to its website, Beechwood Pinnacle Hotels is a privately held hotel development, investment and management company that was formed by the merger of Beechwood Hospitality and Pinnacle Hotel Group. It manages 26 hotels and works with hotel brands including Marriott International, Hilton Hotels Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Intercontinental Hotel Group, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, and Choice Hotels International.

Prism Hotels and Resorts, according to its website, manages more than 25 hotels for entrepreneurs and institutional and private owners, including the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles International Airport, the El Conquistador Tucson, and the 1 million-square-foot Brotherhood of Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas.

Commissioner Debe Hollingsworth asked if there were specific requirements relating to what work would have to be done on the hotel to attract a specific brand.

"If you're going to fly a flag, in the renovations of it will there be specifics to that brand as opposed to just doing it in a generic way?" she asked.

"There are specifics," McCorvey said. "All the color schemes if you want it to be a Marriott, or whatever brand that is under the Marriott, like the Hilton brand, then they'll say this is what you need to do and there'll be a cost to that but they'll tell you if you want that flag on it what they want."

The committee members are scheduled to hear the presentations of the two hotel groups and present a recommendation at the next commission meeting on Feb. 25.

State Desk on 01/29/2020

Print Headline: PB picks panel to study firms interested in hotel post

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