|By Tony Bizjak, The Sacramento Bee,
Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 10, 2009 - The Board of Supervisors vote to eliminate a centerpiece of a $1 billion expansion of Sacramento International Airport.
The board voted unanimously to kill a proposal for a new hotel inside a new terminal being built.
The vote this afternoon came after airport director Hardy Acree today told the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors that he would recommend eliminating the hotel proposal because of the souring economy.
He said a different hotel plan could take place, one in which a hotel would be built next to a new garage to be built in 2016.
Supervisors will vote later this afternoon whether to scale back the hotel.
They previously eliminated a multi-level garage from the plan. It can be built a few years down the road, they said, if the money is available and the need is there.
Construction continues meanwhile on the new four-story terminal building in the center of the airport, which will replace the aging Terminal B complex.
The proposed $57 million hotel had come under criticism for being too upscale.
Acree and other county officials always defended it as a major convenience. They've been struggling for weeks to find a way to keep it in the project.
The lobby as envisioned would be up the escalator from the main ticketing hall, and around the corner from the entrance for the tram to the jet gates.
Hotel users could get to their jet gate in three minutes without going outside, and without walking more than a few hundred feet.
But the bond markets have dried up. The airport scuttled February plans to raise the next round of construction funds for the project.
Airport officials had tried to entice a developer to join them in time to keep the construction schedule on track.
Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.
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