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Baltimore has 10 hotels within a three-block walk to their convention center, with 3,218 sleeping rooms available. There are four other major properties within a half mile. Why they'd be thinking of another hotel in the Inner Harbor is beyond reason.

But that's not Pittsburgh. The only two hotels within walking distance to Lawrence are the Westin and the Courtyard. Between them, that's 798 rooms. If you include the Renaissance, which is just about a half-mile walk, that gets you to 1,098.

The Hilton, Ramada Plaza (ick), Marriott Downtown and Wm. Penn are not what you'd consider walking distance from a convention-goer's standpoint. While including them may give Pittsburgh slightly more than 3,000 available sleeping rooms, the locations of those properties are what makes demand for more rooms closer to the convention center a viable argument.

Besides, the Ramada is not what you'd consider a business hotel. And I'd imagine it would be imploded should Mellon Arena be replaced.

So it's not really an apples to apples argument when you get into the details. The CVB and convention center are also to blame for low demand because of the types of events it allows into the convention center (church groups and other orgs with low-budget attendees who can only afford the Super8).

Thus your arguments should confine themselves to the issues of public funding of a convention hotel, not the demand for one.

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