The Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission has decided to give funding to the Keller Family Hotel and Convention Center project.
The project is funded by the Keller family and will be located along Browns Lane Access Road near I-555.
According to KAIT, the project will consist of a 159-bed Hyatt Place Hotel and a convention center, which is expected to open by the middle of next year.
Ground breaking is expected to take place in the next few weeks.
The Red Wolf Hotel and Convention Center consists of a 200-room Embassy Suites hotel, a convention center, and a restaurant. That project is headed by O'Reilly Hospitality Management and is expected to open in 2018. The project will be located where the former track and field programs were located at Arkansas State University.
Both convention center groups presented project plans and ideas to the Advertising and Promotion Commission before the decision was made.
The Red Wolf Hotel and Convention center has the support of at least a dozen businesses in Jonesboro.
Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson released this statement to the media:
“We are very disappointed by the Jonesboro A&P Commission’s decision today. The public-private partnership between Arkansas State and O'Reilly Hospitality Management will bring an upper-upscale hotel and convention center to our community at an ideal location. The cooperative effort of the city’s second-largest employer and home to 13,000 students and an experienced developer of hospitality venues throughout the U.S. is significant for Jonesboro and the region. It will allow A-State to establish a new academic program and enhance student recruitment. We are grateful to the city's medical centers and businesses who have expressed support for our partnership. We look forward to continuing our plans with O’Reilly and will always focus on what is best for our students, who clearly understand the value of this project for our campus.”
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin released this statement to the media:
“I’m pleased that Jonesboro will be getting a convention center. This city government and others have been working on a convention center for at least seven years, and it appears that it will soon be a reality. I would like to congratulate Chuck Keller Sr. and his organization for putting together a successful proposal, and we look forward to working with him in the future to bring more people to Jonesboro for meetings, conventions and other activities. I also would like to express my appreciation to the A&P Commission for thoroughly analyzing the two proposals that were put forward and for making the difficult decision. Although ASU’s proposal was not successful in getting A&P money, there should not be any doubt about the fact that Jonesboro strongly supports our university. If O’Reilly Hospitality Management goes forward with its hotel and convention center proposal, we will do whatever we can to help.”