Could Evansville possibly see another convention center? - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Could Evansville possibly see another convention center?

The space off North Burkhardt that several sources tell 14 News they believe Dunn has his sights set on to possibly build a new convention center. The space off North Burkhardt that several sources tell 14 News they believe Dunn has his sights set on to possibly build a new convention center.

The City of Evansville could possibly face some local competition when booking conventions.

Word began spreading last week that a new convention center might be built on property off North Burkhardt. 

That could mean some direct competition for the city's new convention center and hotel just down the road in Downtown Evansville.

Just days ago, John Dunn, with Dunn Hospitality, told 14 News, "We're about to embark upon the largest hospitality project in the history of the company, and we're going to do it right here in Evansville."

It's the comment that certainly got a lot of people talking. Since then, rumors have been flying as to what that project will be.

Several sources tell 14 News that they believe Dunn has his sights set on property along North Burkhardt to possibly build a new convention center. A facility that some worry could compete directly with the city's convention center.

"It's going to be looking to fill its hotel and its meeting space with a lot of the same business we would be looking to fill our meeting space with. The difference is public facilities versus private facilities," said Bob Warren with the Evansville Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Warren is one of many who has heard the rumor another convention facility could be on the horizon. He says he knows of no definite plans, but does know when it comes to recruiting conventions, he believes the focus needs to stay on Downtown Evansville.

"We have a public convention center, paid for with public funds, and I believe very strongly. We just spent $127 million building the Ford Center. We already have an investment in the convention center and it is a great convention center. We need to focus our support on selling the city's convention center," Warren said.

Steve Martin, the developer of the property called the Promenade, dismissed the idea, saying he would like to see the new IU Medical Center built there.

14 News reached out to John Dunn. As of news times, our call hasn't been returned. So far, he hasn't released anymore information on his project, other than saying an announcement will be made in the next 60 to 90 days.

Warren says this is a very competitive business and believes the investment made downtown is what conventions are looking for. 

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

 

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