October 5, 2022

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Just Do Travel

Conway considers incentives to encourage hotel construction

2 min read

Conway’s pursuit of high-impact economic development projects may extend into the hospitality industry.

City leaders this week launched early talks about an incentive program that would make it easier for hotels to open.

If approved by city council, the plan would layer perks including reimbursement of hospitality and property taxes and an expedited site review, on top of existing inducements that have been created during the past several years.

“This incentive is not just for downtown, it’s for throughout the city,” assistant city administrator Mary Hyman said during Monday’s council meeting.

Conway has already taken steps to accommodate investment in the lodging sector by dropping parking requirements in its central business district and allowing downtown short-term rentals.

But city leaders have identified a need for more hotels in its core commercial and business districts.

“These developments would increase local employment, expand the tax base and create new wealth opportunities in the community,” a description of the incentive program says.

A public hearing and initial vote on the proposal could happen later in the spring.

In February, the city announced it would expand its program through 2025 that lets businesses in Conway’s downtown and waterfront areas recoup water and sewer connection fees for their projects.

Hyman said upfront cost savings for would-be developers is key to winning a project, which is why the hotel incentive program would cut 30-day review periods in half.

“A lot of times for developers, time is money, and if they can get something reviewed quicker, that really can be an incentive in some cases,” she said.

This story was originally published April 19, 2022 12:00 AM.

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