Sudden closure leaves organizations high and dry

EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT)- Fallout from the abrupt closure of one of Evansville’s largest hotels continues. The Holiday Inn on Highway 41 shut its doors Friday and told guests they would have to find someplace else to stay. But the closure is also causing a major headache for one group that planned to fill the hotel this summer.

The hotel by the airport closed it’s doors Friday night leaving not only the guests inside but also future guests without a place to stay. Some of those guests are members of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter’s Association who planned on holding their major event here in June.

A sudden closure leaving one Indiana organization high and dry.
“So there are no hotel rooms available for that date so where does that put us at. Out in the cold,” Jake Kerney explains.

The Indiana Volunteer Firefighter’s Association had already booked the entire holiday inn for its convention this summer.

“So when they decided to close the hotel, and we’re four months away and now so we have to scramble to find another location,” Kerney says. “We have about 350 to 400 attendees we are in the process now contacting them and letting them know that we will not be at the Holiday Inn.”

With the event only four months away the organization is scrambling to find somewhere to go. The Convention and Visitors Bureau in Evansville is trying to help.

“We met with a young lady there and we got them working trying to work with us and try and find something that will work out for us,” Kerney continues.

But the association says it already had a budget planned for this event so the risk of paying more for a new space could be detrimental.

“If we do have to move I don’t think we’ll be able to meet the budget we had set,” Kerney says.
And changing the date just isn’t going to happen.

“We’re just hoping that the Visitor and Convention Bureau can find us a place or do something that we can live with but changing the date right now is not an option,” Kerney explains.

The building is being turned into an assisted living facility, but one question many have about the closure is “why did it happen so quick?’ we called the company that owns the hotel.

A spokesperson promised to get back to us later today, but so far no one has returned the call.

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(This story was originally published on February 3, 2020)

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