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Millennium Hotel Closer To Port's Control

Bill Rinehart
The Millennium Hotel sits at the corner of 5th and Elm, across the street from the Duke Energy Convention Center.

The fate of the Millennium Hotel should be a little more clear in 120 days. But local leaders will have more of a say in that fate. The Port and development company Vandercar have agreed to a contract on purchasing the convention center hotel.

A $1.3 million deposit was accepted Friday by the Millennium's owners, opening the door to a sale. The money was funneled to the Port from Hamilton County. Commissioners approved the use of hotel tax funds late last month.

Commission President Denise Driehaus hailed the move on Twitter. "Great work by the @CincinnatiPort, Vandercar Holdings, @CincyUSA, and many other partners. The Millennium hotel is under local control, paving the way for a new Headquarter Hotel to energize our tourism economy."

A release from Hamilton County says "a publicly owned hotel opens the opportunity for an increase in convention business. It will give the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau additional leverage to negotiate larger room blocks for meetings and conventions."

The due diligence process is expected to take 120 days. That involves a study to determine what the region needs, the cost to build a new hotel and if there is sufficient operating revenue to support the debt to build the hotel.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.