Then on Thursday, the group, "Citizens Against a Taxpayer Hotel", released a statement saying they are finally prepared to declare their "general support" for the project.
A statement from Brad Linzy, the man behind the group, lists several reasons for the decision, including one involving the use of the county Innkeeper's Tax.
"Statements from Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley and John Friend as well as our independent study of the deal have indicated that the County Innkeeper’s Tax funds will only be going toward infrastructure and improvements to The Centre, not the hotel. This has removed one of our fundamental objections to this deal – the idea that hoteliers would be directly funding their competitors", the statement reads.
Linzy also says the reduction of public costs for the project played a role in the group's decision to give its support. The original plan called for the use of $37.5 million in city funds. That number, in the latest proposal, is down to $20 million.
"Although we will always prefer 100% private investment in private businesses, we understand the need for a convention hotel to support The Centre and feel that the current deal may be the only politically feasible deal on the horizon."