California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo,

Events Center / Hotel / Conference Center Feasibility Study And Economic Impact Analysis

California Polytechnic State University and Communitas, LLC selected B&D in 2013 to analyze the market potential for an events center complex on the university’s campus. The proposed development would consist of two primary projects: an events center arena and an integrated hotel and conference center. Our scope of work included a detailed market analysis that was the basis for separate demand analyses for each part of the project. The market analyses outlined local market conditions; assessed events centers, hotels, and conference centers; and reviewed five case studies and eight competitive comparable projects. Additionally, a financial analysis with an outline program, project budget, and 10-year pro forma was developed for each project type. We discovered that the university-area market was underserved by the existing business- and group-oriented events/hotel/conference properties and that a 145-key, 143,000 SF hotel / conference center with a known brand name could fill the current need. For the conference center, we determined that a program of approximately 22,000 SF, including a ballroom of 12,000 SF, would be appropriate for university and commercial use. Total cost for the hotel / conference center project was estimated at $48 million. Our research did not reveal a need to include a dedicated exhibit space, but rather suggested that the University use the ballroom space for that purpose. For the proposed events center, a seating capacity of 5,500 in a basketball configuration was recommended to comfortably accommodate tenant and outside event demand. At a project cost of $107.4 million, the center would include six luxury suites, 300 club seats, 60 court-side seats, and a 300-person hospitality lounge in a 166,000 SF configuration. Our estimate of the economic impact of this project indicated that recurring operations would support 133 jobs, $4.9 million in earnings, and $24.4 million in area economic activity.


A study exploring the possibility of building an event and hotel conference center on Cal Poly’s campus was released by university administrators on Wednesday.