First dirt turned for construction of Evansville's new downtown convention hotel

(Source: HCW)
(Source: HCW)

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke was joined Monday by several hundred people for the groundbreaking on the new downtown convention hotel.

Soon more equipment will be brought in and crews, many from Evansville, will get to work on the $71.3 million project.

Bob Warren with the Convention Visitor's Bureau says this officially puts Evansville back into the tourism game.

The project includes a 253 room hotel, parking garage and residential apartments.

It will be funded by four different sources. Vanderburgh County has committed and approved $3.5 million. The City of Evansville will be responsible for $20 million.

Private investors, led by Bob Jones of Old National Bank, have pledged between $13 and $15 million. The hotel developer, HCW, is left to pay between $32.8 and $34.8 million.

The groundbreaking was originally scheduled for late January but had to be pushed back because of the extreme winter weather.

Officials say they hope to have the hotel open by fall 2015.

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