Tournaments and Events Draw Lots of People to the Metro, But New Hilton Hotel Not Open Yet

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Des Moines' city streets are teeming with people, as numerous tournaments and events are drawing out-of-towners to the metro.

"We stayed at the Marriott...in Clive," said Ron Wright of Marion. "So the Marion team, we've been to state, this is our third year going to state, the girls, and they stay there and that's where we stayed at last night."

But had the city's much-hyped more than $100 million convention center hotel been completed by now, the Wright family may have stayed there.

"I think it would be very convenient," said Deb Wright. "The restaurants are right here, the games are right here. I think that would definitely be a factor if something was a little bit closer."

Greg Edwards, the president of the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau, has no doubt that had the Hilton been finished, lots of people would be staying there, especially for the Iowa girls state basketball tournament.

"Number one, a new hotel is always attractive to people from out of town," said Edwards. "They always want to check out the new place, the convenience of it being attached to the Iowa Events Center, Wells Fargo Arena, would certainly generate some business for that hotel, there's no question."