Mayor’s Hypocrisy Memorialized by Last Minute Reduction in Room Count


Lost Wallet

Mayor’s Hypocrisy

Evansville, September 21, 2013:

For months as this debate on the downtown hotel has raged, we have been told by the Mayor, the CVB, the ERC, and the DMD representatives that anything under 250 rooms would not attract the kinds of conventions we wanted to draw to the City of Evansville.

In an attempt to reduce the subsidy and “make it more palatable” for some of the Council Members to change their votes, the size of the hotel has now been reduced to 225 rooms while the subsidy has been slashed by $6 million. Unfortunately, the fat that’s been trimmed from this deal still only reduces the proposed subsidy to $31.5 million and does nothing to cut the hotel from a full service hotel with competing meeting space to a more manageable limited service facility that will serve The Centre effectively.

So what has changed? Why was it that a mere week ago anything less than 253 rooms would not suffice, yet now 225 rooms should be adequate? If anything, this most recent attempt to change the deal at the 11th hour should be cause for Council Members Weaver, Mosby, and McGinn to join their colleagues in voting “no”.

Bob Warren of the CVB said in a May 21 interview with the Courier & Press, “If you build a hotel and it’s less than 250 rooms, or 240 rooms, chances are good I’m not going to get the blocs we need to be able attract that convention. It would be my suggestion that we consider staying at a higher level.”

In a Youtube video released by the Mayor entitled “FAQ: Why does Evansville Need a 250 Room Hotel?”, the Mayor explicitly states, “It’s our belief and that of our consulting firm that the 253 rooms we’re considering is the minimal standards for operating. Anything less would NOT accomplish the objectives of the city in driving economic growth and would not support the size of our existing convention center.”

Once again, we reiterate our call to the Administration to drop this quixotic, imprudent quest for a deal with HCW based on the current proposal.


  1. This is a totally bogus report. While Mayor Winnecke indeed proposes trimming $6-million from the hotel proposal package, he is quoted in today’s Courier and Press as saying the hotel itself remains a 253-room Hilton DoubleTree. Mayor Winnecke further said he considered it important to keep the convention hotel at 253 rooms “so Evansville’s ability to attract larger meetings would not be compromised.”

    I ran into Mayor Winnecke today at one of the several events he attended, asked him about the C&P report, and he confirmed that his proposal is to eliminate the storage room for the Ford Center, eliminate the retail space, and reduce the package to a $70.3-million project, thereby reducing the city’s share of the overall cost.

    Bottom line, in a cheap attempt to paint Mayor Winnecke with “hypocrisy,” this CCO article attributes to him something that was shot out in an email from an HCW representative earlier in the week, and not something the Mayor has ever proposed. Let’s at least keep it real, CCO!

    Really, what’s next?

    • Yet the Mayor is supporting and promoting this change, even going so far as to use campaign funds to blitz the airwaves. Judge by deeds, not words.

      • I heard those ads today, and I did not hear Mayor Winnecke propose reducing the hotel to 225 rooms.

        So far, his deeds match his words, and it is phenomenal that he can keep such a positive game face with all the mudslinging, red herring tossing, falsehoods, and name calling going on around here.

      • I just read the CP article and stand corrected. If the Mayor is not reducing room number, he is not guilty of hypocrisy.

        This was a press release from our Facebook group composed with the info we had available at the time. If the Mayor is not proposing a room cut, we retract the “hypocrisy” statement, however, the statement regarding this pursuit as quixotic and imprudent stands.

        • Didn’t read all the available information? Is that an excuse? Wow!

          That sounds just like some of the city council members who admitted in emails that they didn’t bother to read the entire Hunden Report or the HWC bid submittals, yet continue to yammer endlessly in appeasement to their new found Tea Party voter base (they think).

          Funny how those emails never get published in the CCO, but anything exchanged between council and the Winnecke administration that can be twisted into a negative reflection on Winnecke, Schaefer, or Ted Ziemer is published before the bits and bites are dry.

          • What more do you want from me? I retracted the “hypocrisy” statement given news he wasn’t following the 225 room suggestion as we thought.

            It does beg the question why HCW would float the idea though if they truly have the success of the hotel in mind and nothing less than 253 rooms will suffice.

          • I’m not asking anything else from you, Mr. Linzy, unless you wish to portray yourself as a journalist rather than a blogger. If so, I would ask for more thorough research before printing spurious accusations.

            How does it beg the question. I think it’s obvious. The HCW rep threw out a suggestion for a 225 room hotel in response to council members and local naysayers who inherently and continuously think small for Evansville.

            Mayor Winnecke rejects thinking small whether it comes from the city council or comes from HCW representatives. Thank goodness for that!

            So what’s next from our small town thinking council?

          • If hes such a “thinking big” kinda guy, why not go for a 500 room hotel?

            Also, lets cut the crap. Admit you’re Phillip Hooper of the DMD and we can proceed on equal footing here. I don’t hide my real name from you. Extend me equal courtesy.

          • Because the Hunden Report suggested a room count that will work for the applicable location and expectations.

            The director of DMD spells his name with only one L, I think. You could research that if you wished. I don’t really care. I am not he.

            When the CCO requires all your other cronies to comment under their true names, so will I if I choose to comment.

          • Listen, Brad, it’s been enjoyable exchanging pleasantries with you this evening. Now I’m leaving the house to go down to the Ghost Town Wine and Jazz Festival, and I don’t own an iPhone. So, I cannot continue this convo tonight.

            Maybe if you’re downtown later we’ll bump into one another there. Just don’t be looking for the Chandler Wiz Kid with the Justin Bieber hairdo. That ain’t me!

            • Enjoy the Jazz Fest. For those who may have forgotten I was the one that spent my own money to go to Montreal and learn about Jazz Festivals. One year later Evansville had one. 2,000 people attended. It was great.

  2. Dang, is he in to the Mafia for degenerate gambling money? The price goes up, up, up-he twists arms-says “uh yeah itsa gonna make for 250 jobs”-starts to sweat blood when he gets called out for dumb statements-they send in enquirers-the insult to his “associates” is too much! Out go the enquirers saying “no way Jose”, what next? “we can build it for $250 G and my Uncle Frankie will throw in a dog park, with sausages for da little dogs”?. It’s starting to read like a 13 yr old’s Godfather saga.
    Not gonna happen. Don’t arrogantly promise the people’s money to your buddies.

  3. Evansville is NOT a “destination” and it has NO potential to become one anytime soon. Mr. Warren isn’t going to be able to “attract the blocs” he “needs” with or without this hotel. There is no reason to do this, other than political pay-offs.
    The local pols just need to back off on this. There will be plenty of chances to “grease palms” when the sewer project starts, and even more if we are lucky enough to land the IU Medical Sciences School.
    Evansville is an okay place to live, but who in their right mind wants to visit here?

    • What a negative attitude. That’s the prob w/this city – always has been.

      Let’s rename Evansville, Negaville.

Comments are closed.