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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sweetwater's Impact on the VBC

Decatur's Sweetwater development, announced last week, could bring some much-needed competition to the entertainment and convention market in the region, and the VBC could use it as an excuse to go forward with a proposed expansion/renovation of its 10,000 seat arena and concert space. Sweetwater will have a 300-room hotel attached to an 80,000 sq. ft. convention center, which will be completed in 2010, with an 5,000-8,000-seat entertainment venue that will be built in a later phase. Huntsville leaders aren't worried about the development's impact on bringing conventions and concerts to the VBC, but they do think it will give them a little competition. The VBC has planned a expansion of the 10,000 seat arena to 13,000 and modernizing the rest of the 30-year-old complex.

And this doesn't sound right:

"John L. Morris, who started Bass in Springfield, Mo., in 1971, at one time worked with Springfield-based hotel developer John Q. Hammons to build Bass Pro Shops and Embassy Suites hotels at the same locations. Glover said he has never heard of Hammons, who developed the Embassy Suites Hotel in Huntsville."

The "300 room, all-suites" hotel sounds a lot like an Embassy Suites, and Hammons has a reputation in the hotel industry. I don't see how this developer doesn't know him.

Huntsville Times article: Decatur project no big rival

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