New Big E owners could be on horizon

"We've had a major asset taken away from us," said Jody Wasser of the Owensboro-Daviess County Chamber of Commerce.

As 14 News first reported Tuesday night, the "Big E" might not be in the dark for long.

Sources close to what is being called a "serious bid" on the hotel tell our Western Kentucky Bureau the hotel could be under new ownership as soon as Thursday.

We're told the potential buyers are located in Evansville and the paperwork might be signed Thursday morning.

We took the news to several city leaders who heard it from us for the first time.

"It could be a very nice, new chapter for our community," said Wassmer.

Sources tell us the group plans to tear down the hotel, opening up seventeen and a half acres of prime riverfront property.

There's no word yet on any official plans for the site.

We're told the potential buyer has expressed interest in working closely with the city and county on their vision for downtown.

Until then, we learned the tower portion of the hotel might stay open through the summer months, which is good news for neighboring RiverPark Center.

"We need a full service hotel downtown," said Travis Estes, marketing director for RiverPark Center.

Estes said it's important to have a hotel within walking distance, not just for out-of-town customers but for the show's performers as well.

"Their job is to focus on the show and acting.  Not to focus on when the next shuttle is running," said Estes.

14 News also spoke to George Skiadas, owner of Famous Bistro in downtown Owensboro.  He said that a hotel in that location is crucial to keeping downtown alive.