Hotel group questioning funds that keep The Centre running - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Hotel group questioning funds that keep The Centre running

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A local hotel group is questioning the funding that helps keep The Centre up and running in downtown Evansville. 

An employee of the Dunn Hospitality Group, on behalf of the Hotel-Motel Association, made an impromptu presentation at the CVB board's meeting last month. That employee said The Centre doesn't need its current two percent subsidy from the CVB and that one percent of it should go back to the CVB for the softball fields project.

Tuesday, 14 News is told by a member of the Hotel-Motel Association that the proposal is "off the table" while the numbers are checked out.    

We're told David Dunn made the initial presentation to the hotel-motel board. They approved it, but that was before the numbers were reportedly debunked by county officials. 
The Dunns have been at odds with local government for its funding and support of the downtown convention hotel project.
14 News has made multiple attempts to contact John and David Dunn for the story, but they have not responded to our requests for comment.

County Commissioner Marsha Abell says The Centre is in deep financial trouble and any reduction in funding would be a mistake.

"If we didn't have it, then it would have to come out of the general fund which is tax-based and I'm sure that the people of Evansville would much rather it come out of the Convention and Visitors' Bureau money than come out of their pockets," Abell said.

The subsidy is about $900,000 a year. It's generated by the innkeepers' tax and controlled by the state. It is up for renewal at the end of this year.

Bob Warren, the CVB Executive Director, says, right now, there is no formal resolution and the CVB won't take action until questions over the numbers are cleared up.

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