CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi is moving forward with its plans to enhance the American Bank Center amenities to attract more business.
On Tuesday, the city council approved a contract with Hunden Strategic Partners to look into the needs of the ABC.
Mayor Paulette Guajardo said this study is all about economic growth.
"This is something we have been exploring for years now," she said. "We have 4.6 million visitors to Corpus Christi a year, and so we want to make sure that we capitalize on every aspect of our city that we can."
Visit Corpus Christi President and CEO Brett Oetting told KRIS 6 News that Tuesday was an important day for the next step in trying to figure out how the city can bring proper convention business back to Corpus Christi.
The consulting firm is going to assess two different things: any needed improvements to the ABC, and the feasibility of a convention hotel.
A study conducted in 2014 revealed the need for a conference-center hotel. Research also showed that during the last four years, the city has lost bids totaling 36,000 room nights. That's over $14 million, due to issues with the ABC and the lack of a hotel next door.
"There was an initiative put together by a group of individuals, some hoteliers, some people within my organization, and the city that thought it would be prudent to sit down and really take a look at it," Oetting said.
According to city documents, the consultant's contract will not exceed $91,000 for its services.
Once the study is complete, the task force will review the findings and make recommendations to the city.