Hutchinson hotel room shortage causes economic loss amid NJCAA tourney

The Hutchinson City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to end negotiations with the owner of the shuttered Atrium Hotel over the purchase of the property and then met briefly in executive session to discuss a way forward.

The decision to abandon the effort to buy the deteriorating property and clear the land for a new hotel came as Hutchinson plays host to the National Junior College men’s basketball tournament this week.

And for a second consecutive year, more than a third of the teams in the tournament are having to stay in hotels outside of Hutchinson because of not enough rooms locally.

No studies have been done locally to determine the economic impact of the tournament on Hutchinson, but some from other sites hosting NJCAA tournaments for other sports estimate their impact at anywhere from $1.5 million to $4 million.

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