BRADENTON -- Three developers are vying to build a hotel adjacent to the Bradenton Area Convention Center.
Manatee County purchasing official Christine Pearson opened the three proposals Friday to identify the interested parties, but Pearson did not read the proposals.
Hat Trick Consultants, based in Grapevine, Texas, and S. Goodman and Associates from Pleasanton, Calif., submitted bids and the county received them by mail Friday. Hat Trick Consultants was one of the developers Manatee County sent the invitation-to-negotiate packet to when it became available in September.
Jiten Patel, who owns the Holiday Inn next to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, also submitted his bid Friday afternoon and was at the meeting.
"I'm local, so I planned to be here," Patel said.
Robert Schmitt, former Manatee County zoning official and president of Land Planning Associates Inc. accompanied Patel.
"We dropped it off half an hour ago, so I figured we might as well wait," Schmitt said. He's owned his own consulting business for 15 years.
The number of proposals exceeded the county's expectations.
"We were hoping for two, so this is good," Pearson said. "We're pleased."
The county is never sure, whether in a request-for-proposal or invitation-to-negotiate process, who will submit proposals before they are received and opened.
The next step in the convention center hotel project process is to have a meeting with an evaluation committee, which will be open to the public.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.