Will Marriott-Starwood Merger Affect New Hotels in Cincinnati’s Center City?

A new AC Hotel by Marriott is coming to The Banks, and a Starwood-affiliated Aloft Hotel is being built at  Newport on the Levee’s latest phase. But with the news announced earlier this week that Marriott is buying Starwood, a few questions have been raised about the future of these two hotels.

Does it make sense for the combined company to operate both of these hotels, which will target similar demographics, in such close proximity? And will Marriott, which now controls 30 hotel brands, maintain both the AC Hotel and Aloft flags, or will one of these two new hotels be forced to rebrand? If so, the change won’t take place in the near future, as hotel experts predict it will be a “minimum of three years before any brands disappear.”

Read more about which hotel brands may be on the chopping block at Forbes.

Episode #58: Streetsblog Gathering

Downtown CincinnatiOn the 58th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, we discuss our recent meet-up of Streetsblog writers from around the county in Cincinnati. We talk about the visitors’ impressions of Cincinnati and what lessons we learned from other cities.

Finally, we talk about our experiences using Red Bike to get around the urban core, and discussed the latest news on the Cincinnati Streetcar project.

Cincy Stories returns to MOTR on November 3rd

The bimonthly storytelling event Cincy Stories will be returning tomorrow evening to MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. The series focuses on well-known public and community figures telling personal stories from their lives.


The November 3rd edition of Cincy Stories will feature:

  • Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach
  • Community Activist Jay Shifman
  • Mandy Smith, Pastor of University Christian Church
  • Desi Marie, “The Silent Poet”
  • Bonnie Meyer, Director of LGBTQ Programs & Services at NKU
  • Abdullah Powell, Creative Director of Elementz
  • Music from Andrea Bustin

Stop by MOTR Pub at 7 p.m., grab a drink, and enjoy some unique stories and live music.

You can hear several of the speakers from past Cincy Stories events on The UrbanCincy Podcast.

PHOTOS: Cincinnati’s First Modern Streetcar Arrives in Over-the-Rhine

On Friday, October 30, Cincinnati’s first modern streetcar vehicle arrived at the Maintenance and Operations Facility in Over-the-Rhine.

A crowd was gathered on Race Street as Cincinnati Streetcar #1175, which continues the numbering system Metro used for its streetcars when they went out of service decades ago, arrived on the back of a flatbed truck and was carefully lowered onto the track and towed into the building.

The most common reaction overheard from the crowd was, “It’s big!” While renderings of the streetcar have been available online, many people will be surprised when they see the streetcars in person. Each vehicle can hold 150 passengers, about three times more than a bus.

The remaining four streetcars are expected to arrive in Cincinnati by February 5, 2016. Each vehicle must be thoroughly tested before allowing passengers on board, so don’t be surprised if you see streetcars throughout Downtown and Over-the-Rhine over the next several months.

The system is still expected to open to passengers in September 2016.

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These 14 photos were taken by Travis Estell and John Yung for UrbanCincy.

Episode #57: Cincinnati Parks Levy Community Forum

12108104_10207951084322137_3395139175612878665_nOn the 57th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, we bring you our recording of the Cincinnati Parks Levy Community Forum held earlier this week at the Niehoff Urban Studio.

The forum featured Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Save Our Parks member Don Mooney, making their case for and against Issue 22, respectively.

During the forum, Mayor Cranley also discussed how Cincinnati and Hamilton County considered collaborating on a joint parks tax but that these talks were broken off by the city.

We’d like to remind our readers and listeners that Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Cincinnati residents can visit the Hamilton County Board of Elections website to find their polling place or learn more about early voting.