Complex on track for 2017

Construction at the hotel and convention center at Razor Ranch Town Center is on schedule as crews continue to work Monday on the 11-story hotel portion of the project.

Convention center and hotel construction going as scheduled

With construction underway six days a week, Denton’s first convention center and its adjoining hotel will be on track to open in November 2017 as scheduled.

Work recently began on the 70,000-square-foot convention center, and crews are working on the sixth floor of the 11-story hotel, which will hold 318 hotel suites, said Todd Muilenburg, director of sales for the project, which is known as Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center.

“We are moving along right on schedule,” Muilenburg said.

The hotel and convention center will be able to host 1,700 people in meeting spaces for events and will include a Houlihan’s restaurant on the ground floor.

The project, headed by O’Reilly Hospitality Management, broke ground in March after more than a year of back-and-forth with city officials over the financing of the property.

The complex will bring $6 million in new business to Denton, city staff estimate. With spending and other factors, staff estimate it will bring $13 million in economic impact.

O’Reilly has an incentive deal with the city, which is worth up to $54 million over 25 years, whichever marker comes first — getting $54 million back from the city or the term expiring 25 years after the project opens.

Embassy Suites by Hilton now has a Denton office established with two employees, including Muilenburg, handling booking and sales.

“It’s currently just the two of us, but we will bring on a full team over the next 12 months to get to 10 in the sales and catering office,” Muilenburg said.

They’re located right off the downtown Square and expect to move into a construction trailer on the property within the next month.

So far, they’ve booked six events at the property, starting in early 2018. The first deal was signed in August with the Texas-Oklahoma District Convention for Kiwanis International.

Representatives for O’Reilly and the city did not return requests for comment as of late Monday afternoon.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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