Monday, April 17, 2017

City to Vote on Convention Center Hotel Incentives

By Armando Landin

The long awaited renovation of the Hotel Paso del Norte in Downtown El Paso is one step closer to reality as City Council will vote this week on incentives for the project.

A 10th-floor swimming pool and spa area are included as part of the Hotel Paso del Norte renovation in Downtown El Paso. (City of El Paso)

The hotel, formerly the Camino Real Hotel, was purchased earlier this year by the Meyers Group of Florida, a development company with ties to the El Paso area. It is located at 101 South El Paso Street.

Under the new plan, the historic hotel will undergo a $70 million renovation and rehabilitation to become the city's premier convention hotel. It is located across Santa Fe Street from the El Paso Convention Center.

This rendering shows a renovated bar and lounge area inside the Hotel Paso del Norte in El Paso. (Meyers Group)

According to the City's guidelines, the hotel must maintain a 4-star standard, which includes "upscale interior finishes," a minimum of 300 guest rooms in operation, a full service restaurant, bar, and lounge, meeting space, a health spa and fitness center, and a swimming pool, among other standard amenities.

The 17-story Hotel Paso del Norte in El Paso, formerly the Camino Real Hotel, is nearly set to undergo a $70 million renovation. (Meyers Group)

The project's website indicates that a ground floor full service restaurant will be called Cantina and feature Mexican Art Deco decor. Another fine dining restaurant will be located on the 10th floor, along with "an outdoor terrace with a fire pit, pool lounge area, luxurious full-service spa and state-of-the-art gym." The architectural design on the project is by Kobi Karp of Florida.

Incentives under consideration include: a property tax abatement up to $2.24 million; a Convention Center Development Grant worth $24.36 million spread out over eight years; and a Redevelopment Grant worth up to $6 million.

All 356 rooms inside the Hotel Paso del Norte in El Paso will undergo a complete renovation in the coming years. (City of El Paso)

The City hopes to pay the majority of the amount, the $24.36 million, using grants from the State Convention Center Hotel Program, which it will apply for once the project is completed. However, if the project does not qualify for these grants, the City will instead make the payments in the form of property tax, sales tax, and hotel occupancy tax rebates on an annual basis.

The famed Dome Bar in the Hotel Paso del Norte will remain but will undergo a "refresh" under renovation plans. The hotel in Downtown El Paso is on the verge of a $70 million renovation. (Meyers Group)

The City of El Paso will actually own the land on which the hotel sits and lease it to the developer for at least 50 years. The City will receive certain benefits, including free use of meeting or ballroom space for five days a year, discounts on room rental rates, and a share of profits on a yearly basis.

(Previously: $70M Camino Real Hotel Renovation Plan Announced)

The renovation project should last no longer than 36 months, according to the pending agreements. However, the Meyers Group website indicates a renovation timeline of 18 months.

City Council will consider approving the agreements at its April 18, 2017 meeting.

Updated on 4/19/2017 to add the name of the architect for the project.


  1. The city council should approve the Paso Del Norte Hotel Tax Incentives and commend the Meyer's Group for taking the hotel "off" the hands of those that couldn't renovate or repair the hotel itself.
    At least the Meyer's Group people won't have to worry about shady westside protesters nimby naysayers whining about the Paso Del Norte blocking the views of the Franklin Mountains or the Upper Valley.
    The hotel structure is already built for them so they won't have to start from ground up, I'm very disappointed that the Shadow Mountain Tower project fell through the cracks from the opposition.
    It would had been El Paso's second tallest building had the Meyer's Group insist on building it.

  2. I hope it passes, it has sit mostly dormant for years costing us good conventions downtown. I am all for this renovation. We really need this here. I hope they add even more convention space to the hotel as well.

  3. The Hotel Paso del Norte hasn't seen anything great since back during when it was the Westin chain brand! Now it will become a 4 star quality convention hotel.
    The Westin brand is a good quality brand hotel, as opposed to say the Wyndham hotel brand.I sure hope that better heads prevail at city hall with a new city council administration including a new mayor and get moving with the downtown arena over at Union Plaza.That arena itself will help enable the Hotel Paso del Norte to attract more convention visitors and tourist alike and help spur more downtown growth and revitalization. So it is very important that El Pasoans vote with their hearts and minds altogether for progress,more jobs, and to attract more businesses to downtown El Paso. Anyone that is running for El Paso mayor or a city council seat representative must be aware that if you think that by relocation the downtown arena elsewhere. You will not get elected and you shouldn't be wasting our time or your time as well! so get a GRIP and do what is right.