Va. Beach Floats Hotel Tax

Virginia Beach, Va., is considering a hotel tax increase to help fund the development of a proposed $350 million, 18,500-seat arena.

The news follows a recent request of $150 million in state funds for the project, $70 million of which would help construct the waterfront arena and another $80 million to help a pro sports team relocate to the city.

For its part, Virginia Beach has offered to put $195 million toward the project. The one percent hotel tax increase could reportedly generate an additional $2.8 million per year.

Local hoteliers voted unanimously to support the hotel tax increase Dec. 3, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

“We think it will be a big boost for Virginia Beach and the region,” Verne Burlage, president of the local hotel-motel association, told the paper.

Comcast-Spectacor also has its hands in the project with a  $35 million commitment. The company agreed to lease the building for 25 years and will help pursue an anchor sports team tenant, without which an arena won’t be built.

While numerous sources have reported that tenant could be the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Comcast-Spectacor head Peter Luukko at least quieted those rumors for a little bit in August by telling media,“We’re in no discussions with any teams.”