SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new hotel may be coming to Old Sacramento. The California State Parks department is proposing to create a new hotel on a vacant parcel in the heart of the historic district.

“The Old Sacramento waterfront is the front porch of the entire region,” says Scott Ford, economic development director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “The idea of having another great acre hotel on the northern end of the waterfront is a really good proposition.”

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Ford hopes that the proposed hotel will stay within the design and character of Old Sacramento but provide a place for visitors to stay and really absorb the district while using it as a jumping-off point to explore the greater downtown.

“This really is a special opportunity for us and the Sacramento region,” he said.

Currently, the Delta King Hotel and Embassy Suites are the only significant lodging sources in the area. Ford wants the scale and aesthetics of the project to match Old Sacramento and said that the process will be thoughtful.

“Great cities really are strategic in where they place their assets. We want to be very thoughtful in terms of how we connect the dots. Sacramento has been historically underserved by hotel rooms, particularly in its urban core. We know this project is going be a great complement to the activations we have currently and the ones we want to draw in the future.”

More lodging options are important as the city looks to expand its national profile through the hosting of conventions and events. Sacramento Kings President of Business Operations John Rinehart believes that the building of the Golden 1 Center in the downtown core has allowed the city to be a more attractive destination.

“I think it’s a great advantage for us,” says Rinehart. “Having Golden 1 Center right in the center of the city, really the catalyst to all that’s great in our city in walkable distances makes any type of event…it makes them so much more accommodating for the guests and the fans.”

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With the venue as its’ focal point, the city is a finalist for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four. If selected, Sacramento would host one of the years between 2027 and 2031. Golden 1 Center already is tapped to host the first two rounds of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the NCAA Women’s Basketball regional in 2026.

“It brings validity to Sacramento, brings validity to the support that our community has for women’s basketball,” says Sacramento State women’s basketball head coach Mark Campbell. “In Sacramento, you’ve got everything.”

Sac State Athletic Director Mark Orr feels that a Final Four could be a watershed moment for girls basketball in the region.

“For young families in this community to come and watch the very very best in women’s basketball compete right here, it’s inspiring,” Orr said.

But it’s not just the Golden 1 Center that presents future opportunities. The long-awaited railyards are beginning to see forward momentum on a project that includes more housing, lodging and a potential new home for Sacramento Republic FC. A proposed 10-15,000 seat soccer stadium opens the door for national and international outdoor events in a place billed as a downtown expansion.

“It would take us to the next level in terms of Sacramento as a sports destination,” Visit Sacramento Vice President Dave Eadie explains. “Everything from soccer with domestic and international, rugby and all the other field events that require that kind of facility it would be incredible.”

And the combination of new hotel plans and bids for major events means the chance for more investment back into the city itself.

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“Sacramento is becoming increasingly competitive in that field and I expect that these types of projects will continue to make us attractive,” Ford said.

Andrew Haubner