IS IT TRUE? June 2, 2011

The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? June 2, 2011

IS IT TRUE that Casino Aztar has announced plans to make a few improvements to their property including replacing some totally worn out carpet, improving the ventilation, and adding a skywalk across Riverside Drive to connect Le Merigot to the Casino?…that the skywalk budget is $3 Million?…that the planners for the skywalk system that will need to be put into place to connect the Hotel, Centre, and Arena over at the MLK Entertainment Complex should take note of that price and budget for a similar amount?…that the City County Observer predicted a $3 Million price for a skywalk at the MLK Entertainment Complex last August?…that some of the internal management rumblings at the time were spewing numbers as low as $300,000?…that Fort Wayne spent $3 Million for a skywalk, Aztar is spending $3 Million for a skywalk, and that the Arena will have to do the same?…that is unless that do some Rube Goldberg imitation of a classy skywalk to connect the three structures as they should be connected?…that we wonder what line item in the Arena budget that the $3 Million for the skywalk will be coming from?

IS IT TRUE that the first deadline to find financing for the Hyatt Place hotel came and went on May 31st and that no financing has been secured?…that the expected valuation of the completed product has not increased from the $18 Million – $20 Million figure that the City County Observer published in August of last year?…that commercial real estate has actually fallen in value since that time?…that the banking community has not eased their lending standards since then with respect to collateral requirements?…that in a world that expects to see 30% – 50% in equity taken up front the conventional loan limits for this venture will be in the range of $9 Million – $14 Million?…that with an overall construction cost (including skywalk, parking, restaurant, etc.) of something like $32 Million that a gap of between $18 Million and $23 Million still exists?…that the money in the gap with either have to be contributed as paid in equity by the developer and investors, financial incentives, or loan guarantees?

IS IT TRUE that John Kish has finally gone on record about the level of difficulty that the financing of a hotel deal in downtown Evansville will be?…that in 2007 that Mayor Weinzapfel was all smiles with the news of a 4-Star hotel fully financed deal with no public money needed?…that in 2010 all were confident that financing a deal with Browning would be secured until it wasn’t?…that when the RFP went out in the fall of 2010 it did not have an adequate vetting process to assure that the eventual developer would be committed to perform?…that when the internal change of control of Woodruff Hospitality LLC occurred this spring that the representatives of the City of Evansville were still confident that financing would be secured?…that yesterday after the first contractual milestone was missed that confidence is still asserted by the same Mr. Kish?…that if confidence built hotels that Evansville would already have three new ones under construction?

IS IT TRUE that maybe just maybe yesterday’s realizations will smash the rose colored glasses once and for all?…that there is one way to assure that this hotel is financed and that all of the parties involved should have known it for 4 years now?…that the valuations and collateralization ratios have not changed materially since that 2007 day when the Mayor was announcing what turned out to be a pie in the skywalk dream?…that when Junior wants to buy a car by borrowing more money than the car is worth, that the only way for Junior to do so is if Daddy guarantees the note?…that we trust that all of our readers are astute enough to understand that metaphor?

IS IT TRUE that the City County Observer is unwavering in support of the need for the downtown convention hotel and that we welcome the acknowledgement of the financial reality that faces this development?…we as a community are too far into this whole MLK Entertainment Complex project to hobble it now by not finding a way to get a hotel in there by whatever means is necessary?…that TIME IS NOW OF THE ESSENCE?

5 Responses to IS IT TRUE? June 2, 2011

  1. bubbageek Reply

    June 2, 2011 at 7:29 am


    Many so-called “naysayers” have advised against this MLK Entertainment Venture, from its’ inception. Wrong thing, wrong place at the wrong time.

    A referendum would have sidetracked the project, freeing up resources, urgently needed for the true emergencies and challenges facing Evansville and Vanderburgh County Residents.

    We now have a dilemma on our hands: Throw more good money after bad, or cut our losses. If the Hotel is another potential boondoggle, then don’t do it. What will be next? Parking garages, relocation of more functioning businesses and their employees in order to create space where none now exists, then raising taxes and rates to pay for it all?

    “Ship in a Bottle Arena” will sink this Community. Perhaps it already has.

    The Downtown District is NOT the front-door to our City. It IS the stinking, rotten BACK-DOOR. The City begs to expand and grow, to the West, East and North. This is where our future lies. This is where we should invest our precious resources.

    “Jonathon’s Joyride” has landed us in the ditch. How much collateral damage will we allow?


  2. beerguy Reply

    June 2, 2011 at 8:13 am

    CCO: Did you not get the memo after the Oscar-worthy performance of Kish before the City Council on May 9th ? There’s no stinkin’ room in the arena budget for a skywalk ! This is a budget for the “design/build of an arena”, and nothing more. There is also no room in the inn (pun coming soon) for the two rounds of hotel incentives or even the parking lots which were purchased. Stay classy Evansville while you dwell on this: if none of these items are part of the “Arena budget” then why is that Project Manager (Kish) representing these projects to the ERC, the Courier & Press, etc.? Is Kish doing this “extra work” for free as a good citizen, since the skywalk, hotel incentives and parking are not part of his “scope of work” ???? Inquiring minds would like to know !

  3. beerguy Reply

    June 2, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Also, could you pass along Daddy’s contact information ? Got my eye on a car ! ‘Astute’ ????

  4. rk812 Reply

    June 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Weinzapfel knew his forced project “the John” was going to cost more than he and Kish were going to tell the people of Evansville. Weinzapfel and his gang of thieves will smile all the way to the bank to cash there grift monies!!!!!!!!

  5. Crash Larue Reply

    June 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    This City should adopt a Lemming for a Mascot. I find it hard to rationalize a Large Taxpayer Debt,that is the result of spending $40 Million for a Hotel worth $20 Million,—and I ask you why this is necessary, or more directly, necessary, for what group/enity to make Money? This IS all about SOMEONE making MONEY isn’t it?
    Hard to convince the average person this is for his own good, or that of a community already about 2/3rds of a BILLION in Bonded Debt..

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