Initial findings of Charleston hotel study presented

VIDEO: Initial findings of Charleston hotel study presented
Published: May. 25, 2016 at 1:43 AM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2016 at 2:35 AM EDT
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Source: Live 5 news
Source: Live 5 news

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Some called the findings of the Charleston hotel study a stepping stone in a journey, one that's been going on a long time.

"It is a complex and multifaceted topic," Charleston planning director Jacob Lindsey said, to a crowded room inside Bishop Gadsden.

The 90-day study was proposed in February by Charleston city council after the moratorium, or temporary pause on hotel construction on the peninsula, was taken off the table.

Charleston leaders are working to find ways to handle the rapid hotel growth on the Peninsula.

According to early advisory study presented Tuesday, there are 45 hotels on the peninsula, existing or under construction. There's currently a total of 4,930 hotel rooms.

Recently, 10 more hotels have been approved with 731 rooms.

Altogether, the study showed a potential of 55 hotels on the peninsula, with 5,661 rooms total.

Some say that's too much.

The complete study will be presented at city council June 21.

"I think the emphasis needs to change to push the hotels a little further North," longtime Charleston resident Marc Knapp said.

In order to see that, council member Mike Seekings said something needs to change.

"The more you move hotels away from the epicenter of the city where people are going to come, no matter what, the more opportunity you give them to get in a car," Seekings said. "Until we get good public transportation to move people around the peninsula, North, South, East or West, they're going to get in those cars."

Seekings said that will add to traffic, something Charlestonians know all too well.
He feels the hotel study shows the need to tackle a bigger problem.

"We need a regional transportation study," Seekings said.

Inside meeting, Lindsey explained the results presented Tuesday are early findings of the study.

Council member Dean Riegel said some holes need to be filled.

"I don't think that the detail was in the study that I expected," Riegel said.

Riegel explained, he feels, the numbers presented were unclear with classifying traffic trends downtown and, he said, other details seemed ambiguous.

Other city leaders said the initial study findings were a step in the right direction.

"I think we're off to a good start. more to come and we've got a lot of work to do," Seekings said.

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