Austin’s Hotel Boom

December 31, 2013 by Kate Harrington

There was a time, not so long ago, when Austin’s business community worried that the city didn’t have enough hotel rooms and that convention traffic would stagnate. Those worries are fast disappearing now that Austin is in the midst of a hotel boom.

In the city’s Central Business District alone, more than 3,000 hotel rooms are in the pipeline. Even the New York Times has taken notice.

It’s hard to miss one of the largest hotels going up downtown, the JW Marriott under construction on Congress Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets. That hotel alone will have just over 1,000 rooms.

But it’s hardly the only large hotel  – on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Red River, the Fairmont Austin Hotel is finally moving forward after a delay. That hotel will also have about 1,000 rooms.

On East 5th Street a new Westin broke ground this fall, and nearby on West 4th Street the Hotel ZaZa is not far behind. In the Rainey Street area, the boutique Hotel Van Zandt, named after Austin musician Townes Van Zandt, is under construction.

The Statesman reported in October that “a $52 million project that will have a 164-room Holiday Inn Express and a 134-room Hotel Indigo, a boutique brand, is due to start in December at Red River and East Ninth streets across from Stubb’s.”

Boutique hotels are also thriving in Austin. The Hotel Ella opened this fall near the University of Texas campus, and a second Kimber Modern and a Hotel Eleven are in the pipeline in downtown Austin.

Will the current hotel building boom keep up with the growing demand? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by Kate Harrington

Kate is a former reporter, most recently for the Austin Business Journal, where she covered real estate, economic development and transportation. Since 2010 she has been running Thumbtack Communications. Thumbtack provides writing, editing and marketing services. Before moving to Austin in 2002 Kate lived in her native New England, which she still visits often to escape the Texas heat.