Plans Underway for Cincinnati Convention District 

Skift Take

Cincinnati lost its bid to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026, but that is not stopping it from investing in its convention district.

Four developers have submitted plans for a $500 million, 800-room convention hotel in downtown Cincinnati adjacent to the Duke Energy Convention Center. 

The new hotel, which will be built south of the convention center, will include 60,000 to 80,000 square feet of meeting space in addition to ballrooms to mitigate the need for a convention center expansion. 

A $200 million renovation of the convention center is also being planned. 

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) was appointed by the city and Hamilton County to oversee the project.

With these plans in mind, the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau rebranded to Visit Cincy at the beginning of the year. One of the reasons for the name change was the opportunity for regional marketing in partnership with meetNKY, the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

“A new, innovative, best-in-class headquarters hotel will strengthen Cincinnati’s position with our competitive set. We’ve heard from so many planners who want to book Cincy once the new hotel is ready. For many years, it had been the top reason for lost business,” said Julie Calvert, president and CEO of Visit Cincy. “Cincinnati has such a vibrant downtown with arts, restaurants, and attractions. A newly reimagined convention district will complement our region’s assets and bring so many opportunities.”

The new hotel was critical to the city’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. It recently found out it did not make the cut.

In another development, a new direct route between the Cincinnati region and London Heathrow will begin in 2023. The British Airways flight will operate out of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).

Starting on June 5, 2023, this will be the only direct flight between the UK and all of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.