The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission will not fund any convention centers…at this time. Chairman Jerry Morgan says the project the city put 75-thousand dollars toward has had problems securing funding for the project. Last month, the Commission required the Northeast Arkansas Hotel and Convention Center group return the money until the project was nearing completion on construction. It had also asked for several stipulations to be met by the group, which were not.
The group’s CEO Chris Keller says it still plans to build a 78-thousand square foot convention center and a Hyatt hotel in Jonesboro. A separate group, O’Reilly Hospitality Management, is working out the final details of its hotel and convention center project and has reported to the city that it plans to break ground on the Jonesboro campus of Arkansas State University in the next 60 to 90 days. O’Reilly’s group has also reached out to the A&P Commission about funding its project. Morgan says all centers will have to be almost completed with their projects before funding can be considered in the future.