ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The agreement between Abilene leaders and downtown hotel builders has fresh ink on it, indicating that the Abilene Downtown Convention Center Hotel will be a reality.

In a Friday afternoon ceremony at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated, the Abilene Convention Center Hotel Development Corporation signed the Master Development Agreement for a 206-room DoubleTree by Hilton hotel to be built on the block just across the street from the Abilene Convention Center.

The hotel, according to Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams, has been an idea long in development.

“This hotel has been talked about for more than 30 years,” said Mayor WIlliams to a roomful of eager city-concerned supporters.

How will the hotel be paid for? Click this link for a detailed description from a past article.

The hotel will host 206 rooms, a second-story pool with patio bar, a 12,000 square-foot ballroom, and a three-meal restaurant.

Nanci Liles, executive director of the Abilene Convention and Vistors Bureau, has long championed the construction of a hotel in the heart of the city, saying tourism statistics support the creation of a central hotel hub.

“Studies have validated a need for a downtown hotel,” said Liles.

Liles also says that tourism is on the rise in the Key City with travel increasing by 9.4 percent last year with visitors spending roughly $500 million in shopping, gas and other expenses.

“Anytime you have economic development in the city it creates wealth in the city, giving businesses the opportunity to grow,” said Liles.

If current tourism trends continue tourists will have plenty of space to stay in the Abilene Downtown Convention Center hotel which is slated for completion in 2022.