Weird Astrodome resort plan isn't dead yet
The idea is to create a convention venue that has all amenities under one roof -- a destination resort. Guests wouldn't have to leave the Astrodome for anything, which makes sense, because there isn't much to look at (or do) outside the Dome, something the Essence folks discovered.
Usually destination resorts include lovely surroundings, so guests can go outside and relax during scheduled free time. Is there really a market for a resort that has all its "outside" space inside? I guess that'd be a bonus during a Houston summer, but it's an unusual model (if not downright claustrophobic).
According to the Chronicle's story, the group proposing the Dome resort says it will follow the Gaylord Hotels model, which specializes in this type of hotel, apparently meaning everything is under one roof. But a quick glance at the Gaylord properties seems to show hotels that have nice surroundings.
Beyond all that, the real question is could this type of property be supported here in Houston, since Houston already has an excess inventory of hotel rooms. Are there that many convention opportunities out there (specifically wanting to come to this type of property in Houston) that the GHCVB hasn't already tried to nab? What occupancy rate would this hotel need to maintain to be profitable? Generally speaking, resorts are successful if they can maintain at least a 70% occupancy rate. Is that an attainable goal here in Houston, without taxpayer subsidies?
Color me skeptical.