IS IT TRUE? Part 2 April 11, 2011: Opus One-McCurdy Perspectives Revisited


IS IT TRUE? Part 2 April 11, 2011

IS IT TRUE that just four short months ago the Board of Directors of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau was essentially run out of office for admittedly spending over $3,000 for dinner?…that the real straw that broke that camel’s back turned out to be 5 bottles of Opus One wine that sold for $250 each?…that if all things were considered that the group of rather decent human beings were let go from a volunteer board for spending about $1,700 on alcohol at their Christmas dinner gathering?…that when compared to other local spending of public dollars that this group of people were a bargain?

IS IT TRUE that the McCurdy Hotel is well on its way to making the Opus One consumption by the former ECVB board look like a gift horse?…that we are coming up on the 4th anniversary of the grandiose announcement by Mayor Weinzapfel that the McCurdy would be refurbished into about 90 luxury apartments?…that this announcement took place on May 14, 2007 and was basically one of many election year announcements?…that this one has not yet come to fruition and that the owners of the McCurdy, Centre City Properties are now behind on their property taxes?…that they have not performed according to the agreement that they made with the Evansville Redevelopment Commission and still have been granted extension after extension to get that “last signature” needed to start working?…that the City of Evansville through the Evansville Redevelopment Commission is now $1,403,000 into the project and the taxes are not being paid?…that that money could have bought 5,612 bottles of Opus One at $250 per bottle?… that between City Centre Properties, McCurdy Investments Inc., and other affiliated businesses that more than enough contributions were made to the Weinzapfel for Mayor campaign to fund several Bacchanalian Wine Festivals for the ECVB Board of Directors?

IS IT TRUE that it is easy to rouse a rabble about excessive consumption of wine at a Christmas party and that was truly something that make you think “they should know better”?…that what we are really confused about is why that same rabble is not calling for the appointments of the governing bodies that oversee debacles like the McCurdy that has wasted 5,612 bottles of Opus One to date without interest, Front Door Pride that squanders about 300 bottles of Opus One per house built and sold, or one of the proposed housing projects that will be overpaying relative to the free markets by over 27,000 bottles of Opus One?

IS IT TRUE that hotels actually do create jobs?…that one of the things the some of the current candidates for Mayor of Evansville could propose to create a few jobs would be to take the McCurdy Hotel back from City Centre Properties in a contractually legal manner and to put it into the hands of some group that actually has the resources and the vision to do something with it?…that perhaps the best use is to make it what it was built to be, A HOTEL?


  1. Can someone please let Rick Davis know that these are campaign issues for his primary race with Troy “Team Weinzapfel” Tornatta. Not sure that Mr. Davis current campaign theme of “I own a dog” is cutting it.

    • He has a dog? That’s news to me!

      Let’s hold the parks plan idea for now and start small… Do any of the candidates agree with the reversal of Main street?

      Do they find the Aztar management to their liking?

      Do they find any public facilities and/or equipment, “atrocious”?

      Who is your favorite artist and how much public money are you willing to ante up to get them to perform, here?

  2. It’s disheartening to see that the Opus One Party remains an effective smoke screen for the real agenda that lays behind it all. Good job guys, you apparently are going to pull it off before anyone realizes what’s happening.

  3. Centre City Properties and Troy Tornatta have at least one thing in common: they both have had problems paying their property taxes.

    • Tornatta is the worst, since he and his wife were only paying 1% tax on her former home, instead of 2%, and also taking all the exemptions deductions not allowed for second homes and rentals, including the Homestead Deduction that Weinzapfel tried to steal from us.

  4. Restoring the McCurdy to a World War II themed hotel (the hotel’s heyday) would create many jobs, add a much needed hotel to the downtown area, and be a drawing card for many history and military conventions (of which there are thousands that Evansville misses out on each year). Much of the hotel’s WW2 era decor is still intact and would be authentic.

  5. Don’t sugar-coat the actions of the EVV Convention and Visitors Board! If they had been able to push the baseball complex down our throats, they would not have been the “bargain” you describe!

    The outrage over the actions of the ECVB had reached the boiling point when the party and Opus One wine purchase became public. Public resentment toward the ECVB, and their unwillingness to recognize the public rejection of their overpriced and ill-conceived baseball complex/tourist attraction. The citizens understood it was nothing more that an excuse to tear down Roberts Stadium. The C&P and TV backed the politicians and ECVB, while portraying the protesters as a small, self-serving group. Those groups knew, and still know, that we do not need more ballfields, we need to restore the ones we have.

    The EVCB wasted money on attorneys, architects and the time of serious citizens before finally having to give it up.

    Then, when the workers and taxpayers of Vanderburgh Co. were having a tough time finding money for utilities, much less Christmas for the kids, they went out and had a luxurious holiday party, buying bottles of wine that individually would have paid for most of a month’s utility bill, or paid for a nice visit from Santa. It was simply an example of how out of touch the ECVB members were with the economic environment of the real world, The people spoke and their representatives, the politicians, finally took action.

    It was time for them to go. Some had been on the ECVB for over 15 years and had gotten complacent. Let’s challenge the new appointees take their positions responsibly,to think about the needs and desires of the entire city/county when they come up with projects, not just the wishes of politicians and profits for certain businesses.

    • We do not wish to diminish what happened with the ballfields etc. We do want to focus the attention of the community onto other projects that are as wasteful or even more so. Stopping the ballfields was a victory for practicality, a commodity that is rare withing the Evansville power structure. Many other feet need to be held to the fire to make Evansville what it could be. The victory in stopping the ballfield fiasco was the first battle of a continuing movement to bring sanity and prosperity to this place.

  6. Restoring the McCurdy to a hotel might make good business sense; we will need the hotel room’s downtown if we want any large conventions to book the new arena.

Comments are closed.