Blame economies of scale. Twice in one month the stalled Downtown hotel from Charlie Palmer has fallen under local government scrutiny. After successfully negotiating a year's extension on their option to build in Symphony Park close to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, a follow up report to the Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency reiterated the project's difficulties.
The Charlie Palmer was originally planned as a 371-room, four star boutique hotel, anchored by three restaurants, two nightclubs and a 10,000-square-foot spa. A new possibility would build the hotel in phases, the first containing the spa, between 70 and 130 rooms and a single Palmer restaurant. But, with local room rates plateaued, the price point per guest in a smaller hotel would need to be so high, they fear they would lose money.
When queried by the City Council why they wouldn't solely build a restaurant, Richard Kaufman, president of Palmer's partner, City-Core Development explained they "don't want to rest on their laurels" and lose ambition to build the hotel if the restaurant proved a huge hit. He noted their company commitment to creating "chef driven boutique hotels."
Palmer and partners have invested a $484,348 deposit in the site. They now have until Febr. 27, 2014, to begin construction before they need to re-negotiate their businesses agreement with the park. Palmer remained stoically silent during the meeting and explained his presence was for "moral support." The City Council, including Mayor Carolyn Goodman, unanimously offered their encouragement for the hotel project to finally move forward.
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Richard Kaufman and Charlie Palmer [Photo: City of Las Vegas]