Is downtown Minneapolis rebounding?

Hard data suggests not. The news that the state’s largest hotel, the downtown Minneapolis Hilton, would be sold at auction next month renewed a debate on the health of the city’s hospitality industry. The auction is scheduled for January 13.

The 826-room Hilton is connected by skyway to the nearby Minneapolis Convention Center. For all of downtown, the Star Tribune reports that hotel occupancy in November was less than 50 percent.

We’ve previously mentioned another source of data to measure the health of the hospitality and entertainment industry downtown. The City of Minneapolis collects taxes on local sales of restaurant food, liquor, lodging and entertainment.

Here is the revenue produced by the Downtown Assets Special Revenue Fund for the past few years.

Downtown Assets Special Revenue Fund

Dollar amounts are in millions. The 2022 figure is a city projection for the full year.

Activity in the rebound year of 2022 is half the pre-pandemic level. It is unlikely that downtown businesses are profitable at that level.

Meanwhile, Mayor Frey has formed yet another task force for revitalizing downtown retail, which has seen a number of high-profile departures in recent weeks. The Star Tribune reports that the downtown retail vacancy rate has reached nearly 35 percent.