IS IT TRUE September 6, 2013

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics
Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE September 6, 2013

IS IT TRUE the reality that there will not be a vote on the proposed $37.5 Million incentive package for HCW of Branson, MO to put a convention hotel in downtown Evansville is sinking in to all involved from Mayor Winnecke and his appointed puppets to the staunchest of the opposition?…the City County Observer would like to encourage every one of these people to take advantage of this hitting of the reset button by first taking a breath and then putting on your Tom Terrific thinking caps?…this pause is a golden opportunity to get the quest for a downtown hotel back onto a rational track that can gain the support of many more of the people of Evansville?…this is an opportunity to establish a competent vetting procedure in a place where emotions and gut feelings have ruled the day?…this is an opportunity to learn to rely on data as opposed to the whims and desires of a small group?…it is also an opportunity for the community at large to learn how to VET projects so another Earthcare Energy debacle or even another flying political circus like this 5 year “gotta get a hotel at all costs” project has become?…this is a golden opportunity for Evansville’s government to grow up?

IS IT TRUE that the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana, Christy Gillenwater recently published a letter to her memberships in the chamber newsletter addressing the failures of all efforts to revitalize downtown Evansville?…Ms. Gillenwater referred to downtown Evansville as a “ghost town’?…this rather accurate description by Ms. Gillenwater comes after the City of Evansville has spent well in excess of $200 Million of bonded debt on temples to entertainment?…Ms. Gillenwater went on to state that successful downtowns have a dedicated committee or commission that owns the revitalization effort and the Evansville does not have one?…we are beginning to like this lady and agree wholeheartedly?…in her final and most excellent statement Ms. Gillenwater wrote, “WE DON’T HAVE A PLAN. WE NEED GOALS, WE NEED A TIME FRAME, AND WE NEED A LEADER”?…the City County Observer salutes Ms. Gillenwater for her poignant and excellent observations and on her courage to come out and call a skunk a skunk as we have been doing for the last 4 years?…a MASTER PLAN has been at the top of every TOP 10 needs list the CCO has ever published?…we wonder what the Mayor of Evansville and the Evansville Redevelopment Commission thinks about the Chamber’s statement about no plan, no committee, and no leader?…we encourage Ms. Gillenwater to hang tough?…we may just join the Chamber if she keeps telling the brutal truths that need to be told and succeeds in keeping those puppet strings from the Civic Center from being welded to her words?

IS IT TRUE John Dunn of Dunn Hospitality had his interview with Brad Byrd last night and we must say he made his points in a clear and eloquent manner?…Mr. Dunn made it clear that he supports the concept of a downtown hotel but that he and the other citizens of Evansville should not be expected to pay for something they don’t own?…Mr. Dunn addressed the recently publicized issue of his pulling of personal donations to six charities that he has supported with tens of thousands of dollars in the past?…it was a statement by Matt Rowe who is the director of the Reitz Home made on behalf of “all of the museums” that Mr. Dunn has an issue with?…Mr. Dunn supports Mr. Rowe’s right to express himself personally on the hotel issue but does not think that “the museums” as organizations should be held to their director’s personal positions?…John Dunn called out Mayor Winnecke for “gross exaggeration” in the number of jobs he claims will be at the hotel and in the construction process?…as we have stated many times Mr. Dunn pointed out that the Hunden Study that Mayor Winnecke paid over $100,000 for does not even support his job claims and that the errors are by over 200%?…Mr. Dunn reminded the people of Evansville that he and Dunn Hospitality have invested over $100 Million in Evansville?…he opined on the RFP’s that were sent out by both the Winnecke and Weinzapfel administrations as being so restrictive on the number of rooms that they are essentially impossible to be run at a profit and stand on their own?…he accepts and understands that the right size is 120 – 150 rooms if Evansville is to get a downtown hotel without a massive subsidy?…in closing Mr. Dunn stated that he loves Evansville, has chosen to spend his life there and that “he has never taken a penny of government handouts to build any of his hotels”?…this sounds like the kind of man that Evansville needs to bid on a downtown convention hotel?…it would be interesting to see what happens if the RFP is amended to be 120 – 150 rooms?


  1. Kick ass IS IT TRUE CCO.

    I’m impressed with Mrs. Gillenwater statement about downtown. She has taken a bold step in telling the Mayor it’s time for a new direction. Three cheers to Mrs. Gillenwater for saying publicly what most people know about downtown. Now thats the kind of leadership we need in Evansville.

    Looks like the Chamber Board of Directors made a wise choice in selecting her as the president!

  2. I saw Mr. Dunn on TV last night.
    He was splendid.
    I was already leaning against spending taxpayer money on the hotel – but his comments sealed the deal.

  3. I was stunned to hear Mr. Dunn say that he was never invited to bid on the new downtown hotel.

    I also heard that he approached the Mayor to turn the old McCurdy hotel into a first class historical hotel and the Mayor turned deaf ears on his request.

    I too was extremely impressed with Mr. Dunns T V interview last night. He did an outstanding job putting the real facts out there.

  4. The Dunn video part about not being “invited” to bid on the hotel rang a little hollow. Before HWC was selected the process was open to all and they answered the Request For Proposals (RFP).

    Dunn could have also made a proposal but it seems that what he is telling Byrd is that with the information available in the first Hunden study, and with his knowledge of the hotel business, it was not realistic or wise to get involved in a project for a 230-250 room hotel that had no prospects of financial success, even with a large gift of public money to the developer/owner.


  5. Do not overlook the fact that John Dunn mentions the question or concerns he has about the added convention space that will be built directly into the hotel that would stop many (who knows maybe even most) groups from even needing to use the Centre or the Ford Center for their meetings.

    But hey, why listen to a man who build hotels for a living, a man whose family fortune revolves around building hotels for a living.

    What could he possibly know?

  6. Mr. Dunn is very impressive, no wonder he is such a successful entrepreneur. He knows the accuracy of the financial figures he speaks of. Each City Council member should watch this tape, except Weaver and Mosby who remain hopeless.

  7. Why not build it with 150 rooms and design it so we can add 150 more to it 12–15 years down the road. If we don’t have people in Evv to do that{design} go out of town and get them.It’s a no brainer

  8. Weaver hit on the wrong man girl. I hear he is extremely lucky just to get away with only a black eye. This statement is a no brainer!

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