There's a big difference in the status of these two hotels. One's being built, while the other isn't. There's also many differences in how they're being built.
"Every project is a little different."
Two hotels in two cities, with two very different states of progress, with two different plans.
"There's quite an expense in developing in an urban core," says Malcolm Bryant, developer of the Owensboro hotel being built next to the Convention Center. "It's almost impossible to do that without public investment."
The hotels in Owensboro and Evansville both involve public private partnerships, but on different scales. The Owensboro hotel opening this winter involves $15 to 20 million in private financing. It's also part of downtown Owensboro's redevelopment.
"There's almost $100 million of private development that has been committed to this $120 million of public improvement," Bryant says.
"I think it speaks to the face that the Owensboro downtown master plan was a very well designed plan that involved a wide range of things," says Joe Berry of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation.
The planned Evansville hotel involves nearly $38 million in both private and public funds. But Owensboro city's contribution came largely from an insurance rate increase, while Evansville's public funding is coming from the innkeeper's tax, casino revenues, and the TIF district. Another difference is the guarantees made. Evansville city officials say there are no occupancy rate guarantees in their deal, but there is in Owensboro's.
"We don't feel that occupancy guarantee is a good community burden to have a long term annual commitment, a long term annual risk," says Phil Hooper of the City of Evansville.
But there are some similarities. Both hotel plans were included in recent master plans and are designed to help downtown redevelopment.
"We are proposing to come out of this with more private investment than public investment we're putting in," Hooper says. "It's a very good position to be in."
Owensboro officials say there are incentives involved in their hotel project and land was provided to the developers.