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ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Could be a major hotel be coming to the sports district in Arlington? Right now, that’s the word coming from City Hall.
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Imagine a 700-room hotel right next to Globe Life Park, the Arlington Convention Center and close to AT&T Stadium, Six Flags Over Texas, and Hurricane Harbor. That’s what’s reportedly under negotiation with MGM Grand Resorts, a chain known for hotel casinos… but handy with non-gambling venues as well.

“Yeah, I’m pretty excited,” says restaurant patron Carl Knight, who thinks a flashy, major hotel serving Arlington’s tourist destinations would benefit pretty much everyone. Visitors from out of town would have choices, he says. “When they come here they can find rooms to stay in, instead of looking to going to Fort Worth they have rooms to live in here on the weekends when they come to visit.”

Word coming from City Hall is that it is in negotiations with MGM. Officials with the resort chain point to hotels like one in China as an example of successful hotels that don’t depend on gambling. The proposed Arlington hotel is thought to be in excess of 700 rooms. Currently, the biggest hotel nearby is the 300+ room Sheraton.

“I think it’d be good for growth and jobs and benefit the area,” Knight concluded.

A major hotel would also likely benefit the Arlington Convention Center, according to UTA economics professor Bill Crowder. He thinks that would draw in outside tourism money and be a better deal than a stadium, which normally competes for local entertainment dollars already in the area.

But resident Jackie Carter is not a believer. “Personally I think it would help Mr. Jones [Dallas Cowboys owner] but I don’t think it would be a good idea,” she told CBS 11 News.

Carter worries a new hotel would attract unwelcome crime and other headaches. “It’s a lot of unnecessary traffic over here already. And I go to church over here and I work over here and it’s a great problem.”

So far MGM Grand has not returned calls to CBS 11 for comment about the possible hotel. It’s also not known what kinds of incentives, if any, are being negotiated.

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