The Goose Creek board approved an agreement for the development of mockup hotel room that matches rooms in the yet-to-be-completed Bayland Island hotel-conference center.
The Baytown Municipal Development District approved their end of the agreement on Nov. 1. The deal will allow the district to provide students enrolled in business, hospitality and similar programs to be exposed to how an upper-class hotel is built and operates. This entails the construction of a mockup hotel room as well as a hallway on district property at 601 Lee Drive.
Pete Pape, Goose Creek board president, said approving the deal was a no-brainer.
“We had an empty building and had no use for it, and they wanted to build a model room, which I think is good for the community,” Pape said.
When the MDD approved the agreement, city officials said the mockup room will attract booking agents who would observe it prior to the hotel being constructed.
City Manager Rick Davis explained the booking agents need to be able to see a mockup room to ensure their clients of what they will encounter once they actually arrive at the completed hotel.
A mockup room also ensures the quality will be repeated in the other rooms in the hotel, so they all live up to the standards set forth by the hotel carrier, in this case, Marriott. The size of the rooms is also confirmed as well as the layout.
The MDD has previously allocated about $1.35 million of its funds for the debt and service associated with the development of the hotel and conference center.
The city has previously secured the Sheraton brand with Marriott International for the hotel. The plan is to construct a full-service upscale 208-guest key room hotel on Bayland Island with 22,000 net square feet of meeting space, a three-meal restaurant, a bar, lounge, clubrooms, room service, business center, fitness center and a pool.
A ceremonial groundbreaking for the hotel-conference center is scheduled for Nov. 29. Construction should begin in the first quarter of 2019 and could take from 18 to 20 months, and open in 2020.