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Downtown OKC hotel may cost $200 million, partly funded by taxpayers

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OKLAHOMA CITY - $200 million, that's how much it may cost to build a new downtown hotel tied to the new MAPS 3 convention center.

On Tuesday, the city council got a look at those numbers.

One city councilman criticized the proposed hotel project as an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.

At the same time, the hotel plans have seeped into the race for mayor in Oklahoma City.

Ed Shadid, city council member, said,"We are moving toward possible ownership of a $200 million hotel without a vote of the people."

Shadid, who's running for mayor, believes that since it's unlikely a private developer would pay for the entire hotel project, the city will have to fund much of the plan.

He said, "Even without complete ownership, it's going to require massive taxpayer subsidies and people should be able to vote on whether they want that kind of commitment."

Mayor Mick Cornett says it's simply not clear how much of the hotel's cost would have to be publicly subsidized.

He adds that when the Cox Convention Center got expanded in the first MAPS project, some public money was spent on the Renaissance Hotel project.

The only difference this time is the size of the investment.

"At this point, it's premature to talk about any public-private partnership that may be involved," said Cornett.  "It's a moving target to know exactly what type of convention center hotel we need long-term."

A separate study will detail how much public money will be needed to make the hotel feasible.

Shadid also criticized that the release of that study won't happen until after next year's mayoral election.