John Dunn Answers the Question, “What would it take to make a deal acceptable”?

John Dunn
John Dunn

We have recently been asked a very difficult question. Specifically that question is “what would it take to make this deal acceptable”? This is equally difficult to answer. We have never said we don’t want a downtown hotel. We have said we just don’t want to pay for it. I think we are going to get a hotel but I don’t think we have the best deal yet.

Our thoughts are a total contribution of the city and county should not exceed $12.5 million but that would have HCW owning and operating the garage, paying for its up keep and maintenance, and its 1/3 part of the connectors to the center and arena. It is estimated the operating costs including utilities to be over $125,000 per year. If the city has budget restraints now how will they fund the garage operations, maintenance, and heating and cooling of the connectors?

HCW, the Centre and the Ford Center would each be responsible for the building and maintenance of their part of the connector and the CVB money of $1 million not $2 million would be used for the upgrades at the Centre.

We strongly believe that all owners of interests in the deal should be made public including members of a corporation, LLC, partnership or whatever entity is a part owner. We demand to know who it is that we are gifting over 30 million dollars to, including the Executive Inn purchase and the property for the hotel and apartments.

Does this make everyone happy?…….and remember the local hotels will have to compete with this hotel that will not turn a profit and will cost the taxpayer more money in the future or we will have another Executive Inn to deal with in 8 to 10 years.

Ii strongly feel that if the Winnecke Administration displayed real leadership, they would commission a real urban study company like Fort Wayne has had to do to set our community on the right track for a viable progressive city and not just a failing downtown.


  1. Well John, we the taxpayers didn’t want to pay you $600K for a parking lot worth only $100K. But we did… if John Dunn cares so much for the city, he would not have overcharged the city or agreed to the contract. But he did. John Dunn only favors things that benefit him and not the rest of the city. He should also be ashamed for the way he acted towards local charities and the Chamber of Commerce.

    • John Dunn is much smarter than the collection of fools that made up the ERC. Why did the city not go to the auction and outbid Dunn? Because they have no damn plan period. If they had one it could have been had for way less than $603,000. Dealing with the ERC and the last Mayor was like taking candy from a baby. In Weinzapfel’s case that baby would be Chuckie.

      • It was a very good business move by Mr. Dunn.
        It was a very dumb business move by the City/ERC.

  2. I absolutely believe that Mr. Dunn is right. This hotel is going to be a burden to the taxpayers in the future. It is the “gift that keeps on getting.”
    On the other hand, Evansville’s real future is in the IU Medical School. I believe that we need a cohesive plan in place in order to compete to get that school somewhere in Vanderburg Co., downtown or otherwise.

    • John Dunn: If HCW walks, will you step in their shoes for the same deal as is currently on the table?

    • So if John Dunn would not do the deal that HCW is getting, why is he still saying HCW should pay more?

        • bootsie—He borrows money for his hotels big time. That is the wise thing to do.

          He also does not like any potential competition whatsoever for any future plans he is considering.

          Where would you guess he would like the IU Med Center built? I bet the answer is not downtown.

          • It smells like someone crapped on your front porch most days downtown. The cobbled streets are charming, but these people running things would knock down the Taj Mahal. (I keep waiting for them to knock down the Greygound, and the Bosse field-they gleefully did it to Robert’s) You wait and see, they’ll knock or burn down the McCurdy-there’s no concern for what so beautifully was-do YOU think I didn’t grow up on Main Street? They will not put the IU Med Center down there, there are too many disadvantages (it would be cool if we could venerate some of that lovely historic flavor)-but we’ve ignored basic maintenance (and do not forget that Deaconess downtown has moved most of their cases to Gateway, so there’s no real facility until you get to Newbutgh (and face it there’s a LOT of $$$$ to compete with in Warrick County-do you think Dr.’s live here? They send their kids to Castle (a. public school with top notch facilities, and academic opportunity)
            My momma (wise old soul) said Downtown was a toilet thet have been flushing $$$ into it since the 60’s (that was 50 years ago children)
            Billybob, yet again: Dunn may borrow: do YOU pay his debts? neither do I. HE doesn’t ask for money for free. I don’t love his non union ways, but he foots his own bills

  3. If Mr. Dunn builds Convention space next to his existing eastside hotels,–I believe he can claim,–Checkmate!

      • The truth is that “urban life” such as Evansville can claim is there. That is where shopping and food are available 24/7, and many residents can actually walk to them if they want.
        I strongly suspect that is where the IU Medical School will be, too. I just hope it is on our side of the county line.

        • Epworth road feeds the Lloyd….Epworth road feeds I-164,I-164 feeds Riverside…oh snap.
          Ok…Epworth feeds Lynch and Lynch feeds…OH SNAP…41. Stop light T intersection choke point.
          41 to diamond ummm…oh snap! Again.
          Diamond to university parkway wow! Parkway to USI unimpeded for now.
          There you have it.

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