Jason Mathis, president of the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance, has also been a supporter of the project and its funding plan. "We feel this is a good case for limited, prudent public-sector investment," he said in a statement. "We support a convention center hotel so long as the financing is privately led. To me, this says that we do not support a publicly financed hotel like the Denver Hyatt that relies on the faith and credit of a governmental entity. But inherent to this statement is the recognition that there must be some public investment to make the project work."
Mathis said the lack of more affordable hotel space has prevented larger conventions from booking with the city. "The Salt Palace could easily host more large conventions but is underutilized because of a lack of close convention-quality hotel rooms," he said. "Associations who plan large city-wide conventions say we have lost significant business because we don't have a convention center hotel. Visit Salt Lake estimates this loss at $225 million in direct visitor spending over the past five years."