Conventions abandon hotel-challenged Muncie

October 29, 2007

The executive director of the Horizon Convention Center in downtown Muncie estimates the center has lost half a dozen conventions since the historic Roberts Hotel across the street closed a year ago.

Joann McKinney said in The Star Press that the loss of the city's last downtown hotel left convention-goers no place convenient to rest, check e-mails and make phone calls.

The Indiana Recycling Coalition met in Bloomington instead of Muncie this year, and an organizer of two square dance conventions lost 150 attendees because they would have had to stay in hotels on the city's outskirts and be shuttled to the Horizon.

Hotel owner Peter Dvorak, of Bloomington, has said the 1920s-era building needs help from local officials to fund the millions of dollars in renovations it needs to lure a franchise such as a Hilton Garden Inn.

However, Dvorak's Pinnacle Properties and the city have not come to terms.

This summer, the city issued a letter offering potential developers of the property as much as $456,000 in bonds and tax abatements.

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