Hotel Vote Delayed by at least 2 Weeks for Vetting


The City County Observer has learned tonight that members of the Evansville City Council led by Councilman John Friend and the Office of the Mayor have agreed to delay a vote on the downtown convention hotel to allow for sufficient time to vet the project.

The vetting is expected to be done by the firm Crowe Horvath but will not go forward without an open discussion and a vote of the City Council next Monday at the meeting that the Winnecke Administration had hoped would result in an affirmative vote of the council to borrow the money required to provide HCW of Branson, MO with incentives of $37.5 Million to build a downtown convention hotel. $20 Million of that amount is a direct subsidy for the hotel while the balance is to develop a parking garage, a storage facility for Ford Center, and other associated infrastructure.

Despite six meetings in the Wards of the city of Evansville where supporters of the project that included labor union representatives, the convention and visitors bureau, and Mayor Winnecke himself only two members of the city council (Weaver and Mosby) have openly offered support for the project in is present stage of vetting. It has become clear over the last couple of days that holding an up or down vote Monday night would have resulted in a failure so both sides agreed that Councilman Friend was right and that a through vetting process of the project and HCW is in order.

One of the components of the vetting process is expected to be a comparison of the projections vs. the financial reality of what happened with the flagship hotel at Branson Landing during its first 5 years of operation.

this is a developing story


  1. Finance Chairman Friend has already had 30 days to vet and has a pile of finanical info.This needs to go for a vote Sept 9.

    • Looks like the CCO scoped the main stream media once again.

      I believe the CCO headline post and not your right wing puppets Republican predictions.

      Can’t wait to see if you or the CCO is right.

      How much stock do you own in the Courier and Press? Looks like it may be time to dump it at a big loss.

    • He has not and you know it. Your boys Ziemer and Winnecke must have been lying to you all along. It is great to see that this will actually get vetted the right way. You, Weaver, and Missy can sit on the riverbank and bitch all you want and it won’t change anything. Finally it looks like something sane is coming from the Civic Center.

    • Wow! The train of tax-and-spend liberalism coming from the heart of the local Republican Party is runaway and relentless. Someone pull a hand brake before we derail.

      Wayne, your desperation will not disguise your poor conservative leadership any longer. People are beginning to see question you. Don’t believe me? Call an impromptu restructuring caucus – as Chairman you can do that – and hold another vote on your Chairmanship. Let’s see where that 10-1 margin is now.

    • That’s what this means – they don’t have the votes, and they know it. Going along with the vetting is a way to buy time to continue lobbying, i.e. threatening and enticing, the City Council for two more weeks, which is not enough time, by the way, to do the vetting and pour over the results.

  2. Perhaps John Friend can get in his Wayback Machine and do the same thing for the Roberts Stadium issue; the Ford Center issue; Earth Care Energy; the last 7 budgets; and on and on and on.

    John Friend is a joke. But I support him in this effort. Just goes to show even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

  3. The Courier published editorial after editorial telling us that vetting this deal was nonsense. The CCO is the only publication that came out and asked the tough questions that needed to be ask. The CCO seems to have smacked the CP and all the TV stations square in the mouth and sanity has prevailed over Earthcare thinking. Good job CCO. Keep it up. For the first time in years Evansville has a publication that is not spoon fed what to write by the Mayor of the month and the Evansville Regional Business Committee.

  4. Today is a new day for the citizens of Evansville. Looks like 7 of 9 City Council members have finally stepped up and become the true watchdog of the tax payers money. They have finally stood up to the vocal self serving self interest groups.

    Today the 7 of 9 city council members have made us proud that we elected them to be good steward of the public trust. Today the 7 of 9 city council members has forced accountability on the office of the Mayor.

    Today I shall visit my local church and give a prayer of thanks because I finally believe that the 7 of 9 city council members has shown that freedom matters! I also shall be praying that Ms. Mosby and Mr. Weaver shall one day remember that they are elected to make the right choices for the betterment of this wonderful community and not special interest groups.

    Let the bells of freedom ring in Evansville. Thanks to the CCO for being a publishing watchdog for this community.

    • Well said Freedom Matters. I’m also very proud of the 7 of 9 city council members for forcing the vetting for an additional two weeks.

      Thanks to John Friend for sticking up for the taxpayers of Evansville. I know he has went through a great deal of political pressure concerning this hotel issue.

      Let the real vetting begin.

      I’m very disappointed in Weaver and Mosby actions. I hope the people of Evansville will vote them out of office in the next election because they aren’t worthly to serve us in elected office.

  5. Weaver is sporting a black eye today. I wonder who he’s trying to convince to vote for the hotel.

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