May 23, 2008

City Economic Development Staff are requesting that the City Council authorize the studies required to create the Hospitality Improvement Zone (HIZ) as shown on the map above. The purpose of this zone is to assist existing and potential hotels in downtown make capital improvements.

Our competitor cities have or are creating high quality new conference center hotels using incentive programs. The Embassy Suites in East Peoria, the new hotel conference center in Normal, the Conference Center Hotel in Tinley Park, and the Lincoln Museum complex in Springfield have all created strong competitors for conferences.

The City of Peoria has created a very high quality Civic Center, but our downtown hotels continue to need assistance. The HIZ would help them revitalize their properties, and would help them or other operators to expand.

The HIZ would have both a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF), and a Business Development District (BDD). The TIF captures new property tax paid by the revitalized or new development, and is used to assist those redevelopments. The BDD can use a new up to 1% hotel tax and/or an up to 1% sales tax in the BDD to assist them to revitalize. In our opinion, the HIZ will assist improvement in our downtown hotels. If we do not help our downtown hotels, we will likely see them continue to struggle. And the position that Peoria has historically enjoyed as the conference / convention center for mid-state Illinois will continue to erode.

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