City leaders say there is need for hotels around Charlotte

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Epicenter in uptown Charlotte will soon have a 20-story tower.        

Officials told Channel 9 the new tower will feature a Residence Inn and the first AC Hotel in the United States.  

Construction on the tower is set to begin early next year on the Trade Street side of the Epicenter.

Even with this planned hotel, uptown has a lack of hotels.
 
It was supposed to be condos, but developers, seeing the demand, plan to build a hotel instead.
 
While some people told Channel 9 there are plenty of hotels already, the reality is the city is behind.
 
Charlotte hotels are approaching 70 percent occupancy rates and the trend is expected to go higher.
                               
Only 2,200 hotel rooms are under construction in the entire Charlotte region.
                               
In the highest areas of demand, uptown and south Charlotte, only 404 and 287 rooms are currently in the works.
 
Maryann Schnicke, visiting from Cincinnati, said she tried to book a cheaper hotel outside uptown.
 
“We were going to stay outside town. They were booked out there, so we came into town,” she said.                  
Companies trying to book large conventions in Charlotte run into the same problem, which is why city leaders want more available rooms.
 
Developer Vision Ventures stated this is the right place and right time to build at the Epicenter.
                               
Leaders are hoping for many more announcements and many more new hotels.